While always researching and developing new workforce and STEM programs, we’re currently focused on two main endeavors: IT-Ready, our free 8-week, classroom-based tech training program for adults; and NextUp, our initiative with CompTIA to inspire more middle-schoolers to seek tech careers.
Before I came onboard as our CEO in 2010, Creating IT Futures, which was named the CompTIA Educational Foundation at the time, mainly helped military veterans and people in need, particularly people with disabilities, get a leg up in their careers by accessing online training from CompTIA’s partners and vouchers for CompTIA certifications. We also gave out hundreds of small scholarships to high schoolers who passed CompTIA certifications. While those programs certainly helped a couple thousand people, there was a piece missing in terms of making sure people landed IT jobs. We knew we needed to be more hands-on to make sure the tech training and certifications led directly to IT careers.
We spent the next couple of years researching and developing pilots of our IT-Ready career program. IT-Ready has since become one of America’s most effective job training and placement programs with 88 percent of students graduating and 86 percent of graduates landing a full-time paid position as an IT professional. Hear from some of our graduates themselves on how IT-Ready changed their lives. Last year, IT-Ready expanded to Portland, OR, and Charlotte, NC, and we plan to add more locations and more types of tech training classes in 2018.
NextUp launched last year, engaging with more than 2,000 middle-schoolers via partnerships with FUSE, New York Academy of Sciences and TechGirlz. This year, NextUp adds a new partner to help us reach more students, the Technology Student Association, which runs dozens of student STEM competitions and has more than 250,000 student members.
Throughout this year, we’ll keep you up to date on our latest expansion news, developments and partnerships. We particularly continue to encourage a tech path for populations that traditionally have been under-represented in the information technology workforce, such as women and ethnic minorities.
Thank you for all your support over the past 20 years as we move forward to create more on-ramps for people to prepare for, secure and succeed in IT careers.