Technology-focused career training and reskilling program for people underrepresented in tech jobs aims to place 500,000 workers by 2030

Tech training, reskilling is gaining ground at these schools

Technology-focused career training and reskilling program for people underrepresented in tech jobs aims to place 500,000 workers by 2030

A new pilot initiative at 9 colleges aims to help underrepresented people access reskilling opportunities to advance in the tech field.

With support from Verizon and in collaboration with nonprofit training provider Generation USA, the nonprofit JFF is leading the 9 colleges to accelerate entry into tech careers. 

Part of Citizen Verizon, Verizon’s responsible business plan, the free, online reskilling program aims to prepare 500,000 individuals for jobs of the future by 2030, with a focus on access for people underrepresented in tech positions.  

The initiative taps college leadership across the country to advance career training and reskilling opportunities for students and workers. Students at these institutions–Dallas County Community College District, University of the District of Columbia, College of Southern Nevada, Southwest Tennessee Community College, Miami Dade Community College, Delgado Community College, South Seattle College, Spartanburg Methodist College, and Florida Memorial University–will focus on labor-market-aligned skills required for in-demand technology careers. JFF expects to expand to 15 colleges by 2022. 

JFF will help drive the program to scale and expand best practices across participating colleges by providing coaching for college staff, conducting an impact evaluation, and managing a robust peer learning network.  

“JFF is proud to partner with Verizon and Generation USA in line with our commitment to drive economic advancement for all,” says Maria Flynn, president and CEO of JFF. “We are excited to continue working with bold employers, like Verizon, established workforce systems, and innovative training providers, like Generation USA, to expand access to career opportunities in this growing sector.” 

The partnership provides a unique opportunity to connect existing college programs with JFF’s expertise in scaling student success initiatives and Generation USA’s strong training curricula—for roles such as junior web developer, IT support specialist, and cloud support practitioner. These programs have an 80-percent completion rate and 75-percent employment rate for graduates.  

“We’re excited to work with JFF and colleges around the country to bring Generation to the greater higher ed community,” says Sean Segal, CEO of Generation USA. “Our unique approach pairs the traditional education-to-employment system with bootcamp-style training and support while meeting students and employers where they are now.” 

The Verizon Reskilling Program is a $44 million investment in workforce development designed for workers who are unemployed, underemployed, facing job displacement due to automation, or further challenged by the pandemic. This effort will focus on populations facing systemic challenges, giving priority to Black and Latinx applicants, women of all races, and people who do not have a four-year degree. 

Changes in technology and the economic cycle have repeatedly shifted the job market and increased the need for workforce development, training, and reskilling programs.

Higher-ed is increasingly tasked with helping students build disciplinary knowledge and advanced workforce skills through training and reskilling, building critical thinking and analytical reasoning along with social and communications skills and understanding.

Recent research has consistently demonstrated how higher-ed institutions are positioned not only to help new workers enter the workforce as highly-skilled contributors, but to also help returning students and other adults gain new knowledge to make them more valuable in the workforce through reskilling programs.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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Laura Ascione

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