“Looking back on my experience at ITWorks will always be a bright and shining moment. It provided me an opportunity to move into a career in IT, something I'd been considering for a while. My life has dramatically improved in all kinds of ways since graduation, all of which I can thank the ITWorks team for,” Michael Wanner, a graduate of the Fall 2016 class in Delaware reflected on his experience recently. Now, the ITWorks team is ready to welcome a new cohort of students for Spring 2017.
ITWorks is a free 16-week IT training and certification program that seeks to encourage opportunity youth to gain the skills and experience necessary to start a stable career in the field of information technology. Opportunity youth are those in their early adult years who are neither enrolled in school nor participating in the labor market. The term “opportunity youth” refers to the lost economic opportunities that result from their disconnection. Short term economic consequences include increased crime and healthcare costs, and long term effects include these as well as lost earnings, productivity, and taxes. With the unemployment rate for young adults being as high as 14.5% in some places, ITWorks is an essential tool to growing the economic opportunity in the communities surrounding Wilmington, DE, Philadelphia, PA, and Las Vegas, NV.
Of the students that are accepted into the ITWorks program:
- 100% of students work an internship upon graduation.
- 100% of students earn the Cisco IT Essential Professional Certification.
- 70% of graduates receive the Comp TIA A+ Professional Certification.
- 70% of graduates are working at a full-time position within 6 months of graduating.
- 25% of graduates are retained by the company they interned for.
- Hear from the students themselves, by checking out our success stories.
And ITWorks doesn’t just benefit the students – volunteers who mentor, run Friday Sessions, and participate in Lunch and Learns gain experience working with and teaching students, as well as learning life lessons from them.
Barclaycard has been a great supporter in both the Las Vegas and Delaware classes. DeAndre Esteen, part of the Citizenship, Community Relations, and Communications team at their Henderson location, truly enjoys having their team volunteer with the ITWorks program. “It’s all about giving back. It’s knowing that you just spent [time] with a group of young folks who may go out and change the world. These students are the future of [the] industry. The volunteers get to be a part of that, by inspiring them and motivating them along the way, and then seeing their ultimate success. There’s no greater joy for someone… than seeing those they taught succeed.”
The ITWorks instructors also gain experience in educating students from different backgrounds with a wide variety of learning styles. Adapting to variable classroom situations and molding curriculum to best present information are valuable skills for higher education employees.
Stefane Lamour, the Lead Instructor for ITWorks’ class in Philadelphia strongly believes in the mission of the program: “There are many roads one can travel to arrive at the same place. The ITWorks program is such an essential program because of the option it gives students who may not have had great success in traditional higher education settings. ITWorks provides students an opportunity to access a career in an in-demand field, but it doesn’t diminish the need for post-secondary degrees. If anything, it can actually provide hope to someone who had challenges in attaining a college degree with the success they experience in obtaining their certifications during the ITWorks program.”
With the Spring 2017 Las Vegas class starting February 27th, 2017, and the Philadelphia and Delaware classes following on March 6th and 13th, respectively, our students, volunteers, and instructors look forward to another challenging and successful 16-week session. Look out for our blogs and snapshots from the classrooms by following ITWorks on Twitter, liking us on Facebook, and connecting with us on LinkedIn:
Want to learn more about applying to or volunteering with ITWorks? Visit the program page today: