National unemployment figures continue to hover around nine percent. The information technology industry has fared better than most, with estimates showing that the number of IT jobs available in the U.S. is between 200,000 and 400,000.
What’s different in the IT industry? Employers say they can’t find people with the right skills set to fill their job vacancies.
Tech Image client, the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), is trying to do something about that. The association’s Creating IT Futures Foundation has announced a new program that will help the unemployed and underemployed gain the skills they need to fill these job vacancies and to start new careers in IT.
Known as the IT-Ready Apprentice program, it will launch in five cities across the country over the next couple of months, including Cincinnati, Houston, Kansas City, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and San Antonio.
Individuals who sign up to participate in the IT-Ready Apprentice Program will receive free training and get certified to provide help desk, call center and technical customer support. After completing their certification, participants will be placed in six-month long apprenticeships at qualifying organizations that sign up to be part of the program. Payment for the apprentices will come from the Creating IT Futures Foundation.
The IT-Ready Apprentice Program is placing a special focus on recruiting individuals who have been hardest hit by the lack of jobs, including military veterans and their spouses, as well as African-Americans and Hispanics.
I wanted to bring attention to this great, worthwhile program because the Foundation is seeking organizations in the five launch cities to support the program. They need businesses that will agree to provide apprentice programs for the candidates that successfully complete their training. Since the Foundation covers the costs for the apprenticeship, supporting organizations have a great opportunity to find new talent at no cost to them.
Individuals are not guaranteed jobs at the end of the program, but the hope is that employers will see the value the apprentice brings to the organization and hire them on full time. If not, the participant would still have valued experience on the job that they can use to find work elsewhere.
Companies that are located in one or more of the five target locations that want to get involved should contact the Creating IT Futures Foundation’s IT-Ready Program Manager Amy Spear at email@example.com or (630) 678-8411.
-By Dan Green