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Populi and Pratt Institute Launch Talent Track, a Web Communications Design Certification Program
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DALLAS, June 29, 2000 -- Populi, the Web Talent incubator, announced today the development of its latest "Talent Track" -- Web Communication Design for Traditional Media Designers, a new talent development program jointly developed with Pratt Institute, one of the world's leading design colleges. Graduates of the certificate program will receive the unique distinction of certification from both a leading academic institution as well as the industry leader in Web talent incubation.

"This program represents our commitment to extending our leadership in design education into new media," said Dr. Thomas F. Schutte, President of Pratt Institute. "With Populi's industry knowledge and expertise, we are able to co-develop a program that meets our standards of academic design education."

A team of discipline, industry and training specialists from both Populi and Pratt's Center for Continuing and Professional Studies developed the program. The team included Cheryl Stockton, Visiting Instructor in New Media Design at Pratt; Margaret Alston, Populi's V.P. of Training; and Jeffrey Zeldman, Consulting Director of Communication Design Programs for Populi. Together they developed a program designed to take experienced traditional-media designers and turn them into Web enabled-designers in just five weeks.

"The demand for Web-enabled designers is tremendous," said Steve Crozier, president of Populi. "In fact, the Web services industry overall is expected to be short some 300,000 skilled employees over the next few years. At Populi, we believe the talent is out there, it's just not focused on the Web. And that's what our programs are designed to do."

Zeldman, a well-known Web designer and author on Web topics, notes that he began his association with Populi because, "The Web is crying out for the expertise of designers with talent and experience. There are many great designers out there, but they don't have a sophisticated, effective way to bridge their knowledge and experience to the Web. When Steve Crozier approached me about working with Populi, I knew we had the potential to solve this problem for the industry, and possibly change some lives in the process."

"I was extremely impressed with the industry knowledge and expertise the Populi people brought to the table," said Dr. Schutte. "They know exactly what the Web services industry is looking for in terms of talent, and that helped us develop a program that delivers just that -- high-quality Web talent that can make an immediate impact."

Populi's clients echo Dr. Schutte's sentiments. "We have already taken advantage of Populi's excellent technical talent," said Pat Sculley, COO, Springbow. "This new design program is an answer to our ever-increasing demand for design professionals as well."

Populi was founded in 1999 and is comprised of a team of specialists with a combined more than 25 years of experience in Web programming, design and training. It currently offers two talent development tracks: Web Programming and the new Web Communications Design for Traditional Media Designers. Future programs will include Web Design Production and Web Information Architecture. Admission into any Populi program is selective and based on experience, education and proficiency testing. Participants are pre-screened and hired by Populi clients. They go to work in the industry immediately upon certification.

"Populi was founded with the goal of closing the talent gap in the Web services industry -- something we knew all too well, having spent the last several years in the industry," Crozier said. "Clearly, the traditional solutions like recruiting and training are not a sufficient solution in today's environment. Populi is the first program of its kind to focus intensely on this issue for the Web services industry. Our new certification program with Pratt is another step toward honoring that commitment."

Pratt Institute Profile -- Brooklyn, New York
Pratt Institute is a coeducational art, design, architecture and information and library science college offering associate, bachelors, and masters degrees and continuing education courses in the arts. The Institute educates 4,200 students and has some 30,000 alumni, many of whom can be found working in leading art, design, engineering and architecture firms around the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Founded in 1887 by the industrialist and philanthropist Charles Pratt, the Institute has two campuses. The main campus is in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, where Pratt was originally founded. The second campus on West 14th Street in Manhattan will be opened in fall 2001. The Clinton Hill campus is a half-hour away from leading art galleries in SoHo and Chelsea, and some of New York City's world-renowned museums.

About Populi
Populi, the Web Talent Incubator, is a Dallas-based firm that develops programming and design professionals into high-quality and reliable consultants and employees who will emerge to change the face of the Web and e-business. Populi is an equal opportunity employer. For more information on Populi, please visit www.populi.com.

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