Reskilling & Diversity Consulting

An unusual but necessary combination


Automation Workz Institute began as a Cisco Networking Academy 12/27/2017 as Automation Workz 4 U set out to determine if native Detroit residents were interested in learning high tech career training in the Internet of Things, Network Engineering and Cybersecurity.

As Cisco Networking Academy, we registered 757 students for our FREE classes held at 4 Detroit Public Library branches.

March 2019, we changed our name to Automation Workz Institute. On May 18, 2019 we celebrated our first graduating cohort. Four brave souls - Tasha Gardner, Seath Johnson, Dara Price-Vance and Tracey Woodard completed the course work to sit for the CCENT exam.

On May 28, 2019, Automation Workz Institute received it Michigan State License as a stand alone post-secondary vocational school and then Workforce Development approval.

On January 11, 2020, Automation Workz Institute begins its first tuition funded cohort.


May 18, 2019 Graduating Cohort at Parkman Detroit Public Library

(Left to Right) Tasha Gardner, Seath Johnson, Ida Byrd-Hill (CEO, AWI) Tracey Woodard, Dara Price-Vance


Despite our program being rigorous, we have endured a difficult battle to get students placed. Our initial goal is to expand the tech diversity pipeline, we soon learned the tech industry does want to hire diverse populations, especially Black Women.

OUR NEW GOAL is to eradicate institutional racism, the barrier in hiring tech diversity .I dusted off an audit process I utilized to diversify corporate legal departments in 1990 -1992 and began to offer Diversity Culture Audits to mid-size corporations. Diversity Culture Audits exams the data of Human Resources, Marketing, Public Relations departments to see where does the barriers lie. THE BARRIER BEGINS AT THE C-SUITE WITH POLICIES  GROUNDED  IN THE BELIEFS of EXECUTIVES

Our goal is to retool executive mindsets to ensure tech diversity becomes reality.


Meet Our Team

Kevin Hill
Chief Operating Officer
Patricia Sanford
VP, Academics
Mark Kreitler
VP, Innovation
Bethany Collins
VP, Cultural Insights