Several graduates already have been placed into paid, six-month apprenticeships with local corporations. All 20 graduates successfully earned their CompTIA A+ certification, a credential recognized throughout the IT industry as the leading certification for IT support technicians.
IT-Ready is a free, eight-week, hands-on educational and training program that prepares for the CompTIA A+ certification exams and entry-level IT jobs at area companies.
Medica, Medtronic, HealthPartners and TEKsystems are just some of the Twin Cities
companies that hire IT-Ready graduates.
Graduates spanned the ages of 19 to 57 and even included a father-son duo.
“I came to IT-Ready not knowing much of anything about computers, and I left the program
CompTIA A+ certified,” said Isaac Fedick, 25, of Coon Rapids, MN.
Scott Buffie, 57, of Minneapolis, struggled to pay his mortgage since having to quit working in construction due to a spinal-fusion operation three years ago. His job counselor at the Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis recommended that he apply to IT-Ready as a pathway to a sustainable career.
“Information technology is similar to construction, in that you need to establish a good foundation,” Buffie said. “Once you have a good foundation in computers, you can build on that for a career.”
Buffie’s son, Josh Buffie, 27, of Burnsville, learned about the program from his father and decided to leverage the program to move away from sales. He thought a tech career might offer more upward career mobility.
“Wherever I’ve worked, I’ve been the go-to technology guy, even when there was an IT department,” he said.
Both the Creating IT Futures Foundation and Per Scholas are national, nonprofit organizations that provide free, high-quality education to the unemployed, as well as populations of people under-represented within the IT industry, such as women, ethnic minorities and veterans. Together, the two organizations are collaborating to expand the IT-Ready Program to more U.S. cities.
The IT-Ready Program teaches participants IT industry skills such as building a computer from parts, installing software, troubleshooting problems and setting up and managing networks. They also learn “softer” professional skills such as communication and job interviewing.
Upon passing their CompTIA A+ certification exams at the conclusion of the IT-Ready Program, graduates qualify for a six-month paid apprenticeship with a local participating company – usually in the role of help-desk or technical support. Such internships often lead to permanent, full-time employment with family-sustaining wages.
The IT-Ready Program in Minneapolis / St. Paul has operated since 2012. The next IT-Ready class convenes July 7. People interested in applying or learning more about the program are encouraged to visit www.ITReady.com.
The Creating IT Futures Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity with the mission of helping individuals in need and populations under-represented in the information-technology industry to prepare for, secure, and be successful in IT careers. Learn more at www.creatingITfutures.org.