Nonprofit Aims to Create 'IT Futures' for Unemployed
The nonprofit program aims to give people who need a helping hand the right training, resources and opportunities for an on-the-job experience so they can find meaningful work in the IT industry.
To qualify for the IT-Ready Apprentice Program, candidates need to live in one of the five initial cities — Cincinnati, Houston, Kansas City, Minneapolis/St. Paul and San Antonio —and be a high school graduate or have a GED. Those who qualify undergo up to eight weeks of training to become specially certified by CompTIA, a nonprofit association serving the IT industry.
They're eligible afterward for an IT apprenticeship with an employer.
Any company in the targeted cities that offers technical help desk assistance to its customers or has an IT department that performs desktop support for employees is eligible for an IT-Ready apprentice.
Participating employers pay a flat rate, which varies according to city and region. The foundation then covers the costs of recruitment, training and payments to the apprentice.
"IT-Ready is an easy and cost-effective way for companies to give back," said Charles Eaton, the foundation’s executive director. "IT-Ready apprentices aren’t college interns. An apprentice is expected to help the host company meet its goals, while simultaneously building his or her technical and professional skills."
The program plans a special focus on recruiting those individuals hardest hit by the lack of jobs, including military veterans and their spouses and minorities, Eaton said. The first locations for the apprenticeship program were chosen for several reasons, including IT job growth and worker need.
Once an apprenticeship ends, employers may offer full-time work, but there is no requirement to do so.
"Some companies will hire their apprentices full time, others won’t," Eaton said. "But just having CompTIA certifications plus on-the-job experience on their résumé is a huge step forward for that individual."
Those interested in becoming an apprentice should visit the Creating IT Futures website to apply.
Employers who would like an IT-Ready apprentice are encouraged to sign up for the program by the end of January.
The IT-Ready program was developed by the Creating IT Futures Foundation, which has been helping individuals in need and those underrepresented in the IT industry prepare for IT careers since 1998, when it was established by CompTIA.