What is the Cycle of OpportunityTM?
To help people succeed, the Creating IT Futures Foundation moves participants in its IT-Ready Apprentice Program
through a process we call the Cycle of OpportunityTM
. Here’s how it works: 1. Define the Outcome.
To reach a goal, you have to envision the finish line. That’s why our cycle starts with employers who spell out the skills background needed in their apprentices, so we can make the perfect match right from the start.
2. Identify the Candidate.
We work with individuals who don’t already have the proven skills to be competitive in the IT job market or who simply need an IT certification to separate themselves from the crowd. Women, minorities, workers displaced from other industries, and returning military are just a few of the groups we work with. We partner with organizations that can help us identify individuals who can be successful in our program. 3. Train for Success.
Working with training partners close to where the jobs are, we make sure that candidates are versed in the soft skills (how to act professionally on the job) as well as the technical skills (how to manage a network). Both are vital for career success and create confidence leading into the next important step of the cycle: certification. 4. Certified "Ready."
Whether it’s a CompTIA certification such as CompTIA A+ (the primary focus of the IT-Ready program in 2012), CompTIA Network+, or another organization’s certification, the goal here is for the candidate to prove his or her learning. Simply put, a certification tells an employer a candidate has the skills to do the job. 5. The Apprenticeship.
There is no better way for a company to test a person's ability than through an apprenticeship — an on-the-job opportunity with real work assignments. A Creating IT Futures apprenticeship lasts an average of six months. Both parties benefit from the arrangement. 6. “You’re Hired!”
After successful completion of an apprenticeship, an IT-Ready participant has dramatically increased his or her marketability for a permanent full-time job. Being hired full-time would seem to complete the cycle—but it's not finished yet. In order to keep the cycle going for others, our candidates are asked to stay involved. 7. Pay It Forward.
Those who receive help may naturally want to help the next person. But we make sure to ask IT-Ready Alumni to pay forward the help they know they’ve received. That way, the cycle can start all over again — for someone else in need.