“Take advantage of every opportunity,” said Bill Roddy, co-founder and executive director, Osiris Organization when speaking to IT-Ready graduates in Minneapolis this month. “You got your foot in the door. Keep your mind open. Be ready to learn.”
That sentiment was echoed by Barbara Doyle, program manager, Urban Tech Jobs Program, Minneapolis Urban League, which hosted the IT-Ready class at its facilities in downtown Minneapolis this summer. “We’re so proud of you. Never stop learning. The two career markets with the highest demand are in healthcare and IT. We know you’re going to be successful after this training,” said Doyle.
The eight-week IT-Ready class run by Creating IT Futures was hosted and funded by Minneapolis Urban League’s Urban Tech Jobs Program, with additional funds from the City of Minneapolis Employment and Training and The Minneapolis Foundation. Beyond hosting the class, the Minneapolis Urban League is giving a clothing allowance to the graduates to help them dress professionally in their first IT jobs. Plus, after six months of retaining employment, the Minneapolis Urban League rewards employed graduates with a $50 gift card.
IT-Ready trains and certifies information technology workers and helps place them into their first paid IT role. IT-Ready is part of the City of Minneapolis’ MSP TechHire initiative. To close the workforce skills gap in the high-tech economy, the MSP TechHire initiative enables diverse workers to access training, support and tech jobs across the Greater Minneapolis Region.
At graduation, three of the graduates had already passed their CompTIA A+ certification with the others continuing to study and test for both parts of the exam.
During graduation, IT-Ready Instructor Andrew Riemer praised the class, “This class had grit. You kept pushing through when something got difficult.”
Graduate Chuck Campbell thanked IT-Ready and the Minneapolis Urban League, but he also called out, “Andrew has been the best instructor in my life. He made it understandable and fun.”
Mea Yang had started in IT-Ready once before but had to leave class. However, she returned to IT-Ready this summer and successfully made it through to graduation. “I had the chance to do tech training online, but I chose to do it with this class because of the people,” said Yang. “You all have faith in us and are investing in us.”
“From the first phone call from Karin (the IT-Ready program coordinator based in Minnesota), I knew this program was special,” said graduate Brian Schramke. “It gave me hope in this world.”
“I’ve wanted to be in the tech industry for so long. IT-Ready was my way in,” said graduate Lawrence Miles. “The experience has been great.”
Graduate Gerrit Hodd also was excited to start his new career. “IT-Ready has been a great first step,” he said.
The graduates took Doyle’s words to heart about keeping an open mind as they go into their first IT jobs. Graduate Robby Bragg commented, “This class is not the end; it’s the start of a journey.”
“This IT industry is huge and is always changing. You’ll never get stuck in one position if you keep your mind open,” Roddy advised graduates. “The world is your playground. You’re just getting started.”