Microsoft, New North, American Family Insurance, and gener8tor Partner to Help Job Seekers

Alliance Uses Cohort Model for Job Seeker Training, Support, and Placement

Published Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Today, New North announced its partnership with Microsoft, American Family Insurance, and gener8tor to launch a free accelerator program – gener8tor Upskilling – a concierge program for individuals ready to learn digital skills in order to apply for in-demand jobs in the region.

This partnership builds on Microsoft’s TechSpark program which partners on the local level in order to foster economic growth. The company most recently announced its global skilling initiative that seeks to help 25 million people worldwide who have lost their job due to COVID-19 by learning new skills pertaining to jobs that are available in their community. Nationally ranked startup accelerator gener8tor will leverage its proven accelerator playbook which provides individualized mentorship and coaching to startups across the country. In addition to the intensive and personalized coaching, individuals will have access to the region’s employers who have expressed the need for these skills.

“We are committed to helping people gain the skills they need in order to move into available jobs within the digital era,” says Michelle Schuler, Manager, TechSpark Wisconsin, Microsoft. “By focusing our efforts locally and partnering with incredible organizations like New North, American Family Insurance, and gener8tor, we can make a positive impact on our Wisconsin community, through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.”

“As the pandemic has displaced thousands of workers in our region, we are incredibly grateful to Microsoft for rolling out their global Skills initiative. We saw this as an opportunity to immediately match displaced workers with digital skills training and to work towards providing economic opportunity for all,” says Barb LaMue, President & CEO of New North, Inc.

“We are proud to join with New North, Microsoft and gener8tor to help people learn new skills that will provide more opportunity to get back to work, especially during a time of so many job losses during the ongoing pandemic. The accelerator model has proven success getting startups ready to launch and it has potential to help upskill people as well,” said Bill Westrate, president of American Family Insurance.

The two-week, cohort-based program will include:

  • Self-paced virtual curriculum from Microsoft, LinkedIn, and GitHub to learn skills for in-demand jobs, earn industry-recognized certifications, and access job opportunities;
  • One-on-one concierge support from the gener8tor team on the skills content, plus coaching on interview skills and resume-writing;
  • Virtual access to a network of peers for support and community. 

Through this partnership, participants will have the ability to leverage the resources of these organizations to rapidly accelerate their skills and opportunity for a better-paying job. 

More information is available at