The IT-Ready Network commits to launching 4,000 American IT careers by 2018. Through this network, the Creating IT Futures Foundation will work with nonprofit partners to operate training sites in eight markets and pop-up programs in an additional five markets to implement the IT-Ready program. The Foundation will share industry knowledge and experience to inform site selection, curriculum development, employer outreach, and career development and mentoring services and will help provide the capital to implement a national expansion. It will also work with members to track their progress and adherence to the proven model. Per Scholas, as the initial network member, will leverage its years of IT training experience and reach within multiple underserved populations to implement the program.
IT-Ready Training consists of:
Eight weeks of classroom training to train and certify in CompTIA A+, which is the basic certification needed to work in desktop support, customer support, and technical support positions;
Training in soft skills such as problem solving, conflict resolution, and customer service;
Technical training that covers hardware, troubleshooting, repair and maintenance, operating systems and software, networking, security, and operational procedure skills.
Developed in partnership with IT employers around the country, each program will be tailored to meet employers precise needs through regular and on-going consultation with participating employers. Pop-up programs will be implemented in markets where the IT-Ready Network doesnt have a permanent office in order to satisfy job openings in the IT industry specific to that area, while testing the market for sustainability to possibly become a permanent site. In these areas, the IT-Ready Network will work with local nonprofit partners and, when possible, use donated space and work with staffing firms for placement.
As part of this commitment, the IT-Ready Network will focus on:
Increasing enrollment of women from 30 to 40 percent
Ensuring 25 percent of enrollees are between 18 and 24 years of age
Maintaining a focus on the long-term unemployed, 35 percent of those currently served
Maintaining a focus on a diverse student population, currently 80 percent people of color
Serving low-income, unemployed, and underemployed individuals who are most in need of tuition-free training
The IT-Ready Network will train approximately 1300 students a year over the next three years (2015-2018). These trainings will take place in eight markets and five pop-up programs.
Steps to enter markets and implement the program include: researching the market for unemployment rates and job availability, secure local partners and employers, secure training location, recruit applications, conduct admission screenings and interviews, conduct training and certification, and place graduates in jobs.
New York, NY
Add 1 more permanent market (Atlanta, GA)
Add 1 more pop-up program
Add 1 more permanent market
Add 1 more pop-up program
Other action steps include:
Launch of IT-Ready Network funding campaign (2015)
Continue to recruit additional IT-Ready Network members (2015-2018)
Track and share best practices among members (ongoing)
Develop additional IT-trainings and add-on trainings (2015-2018)
There are currently more than 850,000 open information technology (IT) jobs in the U.S., and this demand for IT positions is projected to grow. Experts estimate a 17% growth in IT occupations between 2012 and 2022.
At the same time, the rise of the information economy has eliminated many traditional American jobs, leaving thousands unemployed. In fact, four out of five jobs lost during the recession were in manufacturing, construction, and other heavy industries. These jobs are not projected to come back. The long-term unemployed, those who have been searching for work for 27 weeks or more, are disproportionately affected. Many struggle just to get by in part-time jobs that dont offer career growth. Others, laid off during the recession, cant find work because their skills are no longer in demand.
A wide spectrum of businesses increasingly relies on core IT jobs to operate in todays economy. To stay competitive, these businesses are relying on international applicants. IT occupations made up 77% of the requests for H-1B work visas in fiscal year 2013.
There is a real opportunity today to get more Americans back to work while filling a broad need for skilled IT workers. Within IT occupations, women represent only 25% while African Americans and Hispanics both represent only 7%. Underrepresented groups and other underemployed and unemployed individuals deserve the chance to get their foot in a new door of opportunity. An upwardly mobile career in IT can be that new door. With effective, short-term training, these women and men can launch and build stable IT careers. And as the jobs of the future, IT careers have the power to fuel vital economic growth within these communities and help them break the cycle of poverty.