By Dylan Deprey
As college students gasp a sigh of relief for Spring Break, some new students begin a new journey, and it could mean a new future and career.
The first class walked through the doors of the Milwaukee TechForce Training Center for information technology (IT) training through Employ Milwaukee’s TechHire IT training program, on Monday March 20, 2017.
Employ Milwaukee and Blue 1647 provided the 10-week IT certification program at the Milwaukee TechForce Training Center on the St. Francis of Assisi Church campus in the Halyard Park neighborhood on Milwaukee’s near-north side.
“Across industries, there is a need for workers trained in technical occupations. The TechHire program will allow us to rapidly train individuals for certain IT occupations. We are looking forward to working with our partners to put individuals, especially our young people, on career pathways in the tech field,” said Earl Buford, President and CEO of Employ Milwaukee.
Employ Milwaukee was awarded the 2016 TechHire grant as part of the Compete Midwest H-1B Tech- Hire Partnership, a regional collaboration with St. Louis and Cincinnati, a competition to bridge people to well-paying technology related jobs.
“We are excited to be partnering with Employ Milwaukee to train individuals through the TechHire program,” said Allyson Scrutchens, Chief Strategy Officer, Blue 1647. “We will be focusing on the A Plus certification for anyone who plans to pursue an entry or mid-level position in a technology field. Additionally, we will provide Network Plus certification to give students qualifications for networking, wireless, and managing access points.”
Blue 1647, the entrepreneurial and technology innovation program, will train youth and adults through technology programs to prepare individuals for high-demand jobs.
“I’m inspired by this collaboration which illustrates why Milwaukee received the White House TechHire Community designation last year. This is about helping people get the skills to operate in this economy. There are so many family supporting jobs out there that are tech-related that we want our residents to be trained for these positions,” said Mayor Tom Barrett.
The Milwaukee TechForce Training Center recently opened in late May 2016. The renovated Adult Learning Center (ALC) was developed by HACM with funding by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and partnerships with St. Francis Church, ALC, Employ Milwaukee, Milwaukee Area Technical College and Milwaukee Public Schools
“The TechForce partnership brings together multiple public and private resources to create a pathway for local residents to achieve good quality of life through family-sustaining jobs,” said Tony Pérez, Secretary-Executive Director of HACM.
Kimberly Thomas-Britt was one of the students to participate in the first classes, and was excited about the program’s many opportunities.
“We’re going to do our best to make sure that essentially the next class comes in with just as much pride that we have. We’re going to make sure that we represent the city not just by being here, but by getting started on our next career path and getting employed,” Thomas-Britt said.