Melaleuca hosted 28 tech-minded high school students from the region as part of a weeklong computer programming boot camp. The camp was designed to give students a closer look into the rapidly expanding world of information technology (IT) and its various career paths—at no cost to the attendees.
The workshop is an example of Melaleuca’s commitment to education and community service. By offering these youth a glimpse into the world of modern innovation, the company is expanding their minds and helping the next generation prepare for careers in science and technology.
Melaleuca ranks as one of the largest e-commerce companies in North America, based on annual revenues from the web.
The Idaho Technology Council’s President and CEO Jay Larsen commended Melaleuca for its commitment to Idaho’s technology ecosystem and development of tomorrow’s innovation leaders.
“The ITC applauds Melaleuca’s program to teach computer science and coding to Idaho high school students, inspiring them to enhance their technology skills,” Larsen said. “Idaho needs more of its students to strengthen their foundation in computer science, and this is an innovative way for students to receive STEM education and prepare them for the opportunities of the future.”
Rex Barzee, BYU-Idaho’s department chair for computer information technology, was brought in to teach the course. Throughout the week, students get to create their own smartphone app and build interactive webpages that use animation, calculations, Visual Studio software, and other IT tools.
In addition, several of Melaleuca’s IT directors and management team members are providing practical instruction and hands-on training. By learning from these experts, the students are exploring what tech innovation will look like when they enter the workforce.
Melaleuca announced the boot camp at the end of last school year and was inundated with applications. Due to the high level of interest, the company added an afternoon session to allow as many students to attend as possible.
Despite expanding the camp from one session to two, Melaleuca still had to turn away several applicants. While the event was only advertised locally, word spread far enough that students from as far away as Boise and Utah applied and are in attendance.
The positive response to Melaleuca’s technology boot camp shows just how passionate today’s generation of young learners is for IT, says Melaleuca Chief of Staff Cole Clinger.
“Students today have technology at their fingertips—literally,” Clinger says. “And they can’t get enough of it. Not only do they like using it, they also want to know how it works and how to create it. At Melaleuca we want to reach out to students in our community and provide them with a unique educational opportunity that they might not get in the regular classroom. We’ve been so impressed with the kids’ ingenuity and ability and what they’ve been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time.”
Melaleuca hopes that after the students have completed this week’s boot camp, they will continue their IT education.
Since it opened its doors in 1985, Melaleuca has recognized the critical role that innovation plays in business. A free enterprise system that embraces new technology encourages research and development, leads to job creation, and spurs economic growth.
Melaleuca itself is an example of such prosperity. Its ever-expanding, state-of-the-art IT department is a major reason why the company is experiencing its best growth ever. On a global scale, Melaleuca’s IT professionals develop support systems and applications for manufacturing, distribution, warehouse management, customer enrollments, order and payment processing, shipping, warehouse management, and reporting.