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February 26, 2019

Creating IT Futures Announces Graduation Day for Chicago’s Inaugural IT-Ready Class

CEO Charles Eaton calls for Chicagoland IT employers to “mark their calendars” for April job interviews and encourages candidates for next Chicago IT-Ready course to submit applications now


February 26, 2019, Downers Grove, ILCreating IT Futures, CompTIA’s tech workforce charity, announced today that April 5, 2019, will be graduation day for students currently enrolled in Chicago’s first permanent IT-Ready career program.


This inaugural class launched earlier this month at Northeastern Illinois University’s El Centro campus in the Avondale area, with financial support from Boeing, the Cognizant U.S. Foundation and local partners Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance and the Wounded Warrior Project.


“We call upon Chicagoland’s IT employers to mark their calendars and prepare to interview an impressive group of technologists, ready with the right mix of hard technical skills and business soft skills for entry-level positions in IT services and support,” said Charles Eaton, CEO of Creating IT Futures and CompTIA’s Executive Vice President for Social Innovation.


IT-Ready Career Program Helps Fill Chicago’s Tech Skills Gap


Eaton stressed that CompTIA research shows as many as 30,000 positions working with technology are open in the Chicago region during any given quarter.


“The Chicagoland tech industry needs more workers, and more workers in Chicagoland need more opportunities,” Eaton said. “The Chicago area has the people to fill many of these tech jobs; they just need the right training. With IT-Ready, we’re putting Chicago’s hard-working adults back into the workforce where they can earn family-sustaining wages and drive the economic growth of this region.”


With an overall shortage of qualified tech workers in America, thousands of jobs as helpdesk technicians or roles testing software are available across the country, typically offering double the national wage. IT-Ready prepares adults for these roles in two months with full-time training.


No previous experience is necessary and only a high school diploma or GED is required. The classroom-based course is underwritten by grants and financial donations, so that students can attend classes for free.


Chicago-area businesses interested in reviewing resumes of certified IT-Ready graduates and interviewing these qualified candidates for entry-level IT positions should contact Anderson Lee at [email protected] or visit


Interested employers can learn about some current IT-Ready students in the inaugural Chicago class by visiting Creating IT Futures’ Inspiring Success blog and reading this recent post:


Second Class Commences April 22; Applications Due March 22


Eaton also urged prospective IT-Ready candidates to submit their applications now for Chicago’s second IT-Ready class at NEIU’s El Centro campus. The 8-week course begins April 22, and the application deadline is March 22.


Prospective students can apply at


Creating IT Futures helps diversify Chicago’s tech industry by opening career doors to a wider demographic. Populations traditionally under-represented in the IT workforce, such as women, people of color and veterans, are encouraged to apply. By working with dozens of local employer partners, Creating IT Futures places about 86 percent of its graduates nationwide into full-time employment in the tech industry.


Students work toward CompTIA A+ certification in the IT-Ready Technical Support class. IT-Ready students receive free tuition, books and learning materials, more than 240 hours of classroom and hands-on tech and soft skills training, and certification vouchers. Classes run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. every weekday for eight weeks.


Students participate in taking apart and building desktop computers and other hardware; learn about motherboards, printers, peripheral devices, memory and physical storage, connections and mobile devices; set up computer networks and troubleshoot networks, displays, printers, and operating systems; configure operating systems and hardware; and secure networks, systems and data.


Students also receive targeted professional development in key business “soft” skills such as professional communication and presentation, teamwork and collaboration, and critical thinking and problem solving. IT-Ready graduates are grounded in these key skills and prepared to apply them on day one of their new jobs. After completing their training, the students sit for the CompTIA A+ exam which covers desktop and help-desk technical support duties and skills.


About Creating IT Futures


Founded in 1998 by CompTIA, Creating IT Futures is a 501(c)(3) charity with the mission of helping populations under-represented in the information technology industry and individuals who are lacking in opportunity to prepare for, secure and be successful in IT careers. Learn more at


Media Contact:


Lisa Fasold
Creating IT Futures
[email protected]