Creating IT Futures Foundation Will Launch 4,000 New IT Jobs in the U.S. by 2018

Denver, Colo. (June 9, 2015)—The Creating IT Futures Foundation today announced a Commitment to Action at CGI America to launch 4,000 new information technology (IT) careers in U.S. cities by 2018. Creating IT Futures will achieve this by creating theIT-Ready Network, a collection of non-profit implementation partners and employer partners around the country that will expand and strengthen the existing IT-Ready training model to provide foundational IT training and employer connections to the unemployed and to groups traditionally underrepresented in the technology industry.  
 
There is a real opportunity today to get more Americans back to work while filling a broad need for skilled IT workers,” said Charles Eaton, CEO of Creating IT Futures Foundation. “As the jobs of the future, IT careers have the power to fuel vital economic growth within communities hit hard by the economic downturn and help them break the cycle of poverty.”
 
The IT-Ready training consists of:
  • Eight weeks of training to certify in CompTIA A+, which is a certification for desktop support, customer support and technical support positions;
  • Training in “soft” skills such as problem solving, conflict resolution and customer service; and,
  • Technical training that covers hardware, troubleshooting, repair and maintenance, operating systems and software, networking, security and operational procedure skills.
 
The IT-Ready training model has had demonstrated success. For example, data covering 138 students who have entered the IT-Ready program in Minneapolis/St. Paul in the last three years show high graduation rates (91%) and CompTIA A+ certification rates (90%) with 80% of graduates accepting full-time IT positions within four months of completing the program. (The national average for sector-based workforce development programs is 64 percent.) 
 
Per Scholas, the largest and oldest professional IT workforce development program based in New York City, with national reach in Columbus, Cincinnati, the National Capital Region, and Dallas, is the first IT-Ready Network implementation partner. Through national expansion, Per Scholas has leveraged its years of IT training experience and reach within multiple underserved populations to implement their programs as part of the IT-Ready Network. To date, Per Scholas has trained more than 5,000 individuals, helping them build lasting, powerful careers in technology.
 
Developed and tested in partnership with Per Scholas and employers in a variety of sectors, IT-Ready training is tailored to meet individual employers’ precise needs through regular and on-going consultation. Participating employers commit to hiring program graduates.  
 
“While this program is free to participants, it is not a charity.  Trainees work hard to learn the technical and soft skills they need to contribute to the workforce,” said Randy Trask, GED Testing Service President and CEO and IT-Ready Network employer partner.  Employers are the real beneficiaries of the program—we get well-trained, passionate, committed employees with strong IT skills tailored to meet our specific needs.” 
 
As part of this Commitment to Action, the IT-Ready Network will expand availability and access to this training program, with a focus on:
 
  • Serving low-income, unemployed, and underemployed individuals who are most in need of tuition-free training;
  • Increasing enrollment of women from 30 to 50 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; and
  • Maintaining a focus on a diverse student population, currently 80 percent people of color.
 
Within IT occupations, women represent only 25 percent while African Americans and Hispanics together represent only13 percent of workers. Underrepresented groups and other underemployed and unemployed individuals deserve the chance to get their foot in a new door of opportunity and an upwardly mobile career in IT can be that new door,” continued Eaton.  “With effective, short-term training, these women and men can launch and build stable IT careers.
 
Under the newly established IT-Ready Network, the Creating IT Futures Foundations supporting training programs in several markets by 2018, including: New York City; Washington, D.C.; Columbus, Ohio; Cincinnati; Minneapolis/St.Paul; Dallas; and Atlanta. In addition, pop-up programs will be implemented in markets where the IT-Ready Network doesn’t have a permanent partner in order to satisfy job openings specific to that area, while testing the market for potential to become a permanent site. Identified pop-up markets include: Philadelphia; Charlotte, N.C.; and Omaha. Additional permanent and pop-up locations will be identified in partnership with local employers and implementing organizations.  
 
Through this network, the Foundation will work with nonprofit partners operating training sites and will share industry knowledge and experience to inform site selection, curriculum development, employer outreach, and career development and mentoring services. The Foundation has invested more than $3M to test the IT-Ready model and implement this national expansion.  
 
Implementation partners will receive several benefits for participation, including access to free and reduced pricing on CompTIA testing vouchers; lower negotiated pricing on books, training materials and other services;and access to data management solutions, trainers, and labor market information. The Network will work with partners to track their progress and adherence to the proven training model, as well as provide a forum for information sharing and program improvement
 
To learn more about the IT-Ready Network, go to ITreadynetwork.org.
 
About the Creating IT Futures Foundation 
The Creating IT Futures Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity, was established in 1998 by CompTIA, the Information Technology Industry Trade Association, as a way to help people improve their lives through IT careers. The Foundation’s mission is to help populations that are under-represented in IT and individuals who are lacking in opportunity to prepare for, secure and be successful in IT careers.  For more information, visit CreatingITFutures.org.
 
About CGI America 
The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. Established in June 2011 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) addresses economic recovery in the United States. CGI America brings together leaders in business, government, and civil society to generate and implement commitments to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, foster innovation, and support workforce development in the United States. Since its first meeting, CGI America participants have made more than 400 commitments, which have improved the lives of nearly 1.4 million people.
 
CGI also convenes an Annual Meeting, which brings together global leaders to take action and create positive social change, CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world, and, this year, CGI will also convene CGI Middle East & Africa, which will bring together leaders across sectors to take action on pressing social, economic, and environmental challenges. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobaland Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.

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