Inspiring Success

A blog from Creating IT Futures

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June 12, 2017

Knowledge, insight and initiative leads to promotion

151113_261_TuckerLBy: Tom Liszka
We’re nearing the end of the Faces of Workforce Development showcase, so with three weeks left, let’s recap where we have been: 
  1. Opening doors to unforeseen career paths.
  2. Building confidence through workforce development.
  3. Motivating factors in workforce development.
  4. Workforce development helps complete the career mission.
  5. The role of continuing education in workforce development programs.
  6. The importance soft skills play in successfully reaching your goals.
  7. Putting a stop to dreading the end of the weekend.
  8. Workforce development programs lead to great jobs with great benefits
  9. From warehouse inventories and forklifts to a career in tech, thanks to workforce development.

When Tucker Landis’s mom saw an ad for IT-Ready, she immediately knew the program was exactly what her son needed. So, she encouraged him to apply. Landis knew that IT jobs were plentiful and that they were good jobs – offering attractive wages and hours and upwardly mobile career paths. He only needed an on-ramp to the industry.

According to USA Today, tech jobs are thriving nationwide, up to 7.3 million workers, and the CompTIA Cyberstates report finds the tech sector grew 2.7 percent and the U.S. economy added more than 182K tech jobs in 2016. Tucker was one of those jobs.

“My mother, who works in the IT industry on the sales side, had heard about the IT-Ready class and in so many words instructed me to fill out an application, so I did.

“While I didn’t have any experience working in the tech industry per se, I had a lot of experience working with technology. I built computers with my cousin when we were kids, did a lot of video gaming and playing around, things of that nature. I was always the guy people came to see if they had a computer issue.

“IT-Ready prepared me to market myself by helping me understand how job seeking works and how to talk to people to make yourself stand out. In terms of technical skills, I learned a lot about how Windows works as well as in the ins and outs of the hardware on the computer." 

Shortly after graduating from IT-Ready, Landis secured a job with Atomic Data, a Minneapolis-based IT solutions provider that delivers sophisticated, customized IT solutions to companies large and small, single site or multi-national, in-house or in the cloud. Working either with a company’s IT department or as the company’s IT department, Atomic Data can design, equip, and maintain solutions for today’s challenging IT environments

“His personality was very upfront – he seemed very comfortable, whereas people in interviews usually are nervous,” said Mark Myers, NOC and Service Desk Supervisor at Atomic Data. “And it was clear in talking to him that Tucker wasn’t done learning. He wanted to learn more. And he’s been learning ever since he got here. He’s taken his knowledge and shown insight and initiative and that’s what got him promoted.”

It also didn’t hurt that Tucker was joining a Minneapolis tech workforce that ranks in the top 20 states for tech employment.

Since joining Atomic Data a little over a year ago, Landis already has been promoted to Network Operations Center Technician Level II and Team Lead. He enjoys his work, which involves monitoring from the top down the technical operations of hundreds of clients and assisting them with everything ranging from a broken monitor to network devices to infrastructure devices. 

“My options a year ago were slim to none,” Landis said. “It was a rough, rough, rough year. But I couldn’t be happier now. I am 10,000 times better off than I was and 10,000 times more hopeful about my future.”