Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. — March 31
Through a grant from Microsoft Unlimited Potential and the McMahan Center, the CompTIA Educational Foundation furthered honed its global training program to bring IT education and certification to the disadvantaged in Europe.
First tested abroad in Ireland in 2007, the Foundation’s Creating Futures program delivered digital literacy training, credentialing and job placement to a group of economically disadvantaged individuals in Poland in 2008. The Polish program recently completed six months of European Computer Driving License (ECDL) training and certification with 11 individuals ranging in age from 16 to 52 years old from the regions of Garwolin and Radom.
During the training, all participants completed internships at various Polish companies this winter, as facilitated by the Foundation and Procesy Inwestycyjne, a consultancy based in Warsaw. Some of the companies plan to continue working with the participants.
“The internships allow us to adjust our training so that it fits real-world business expectations,” said John Venator, president and CEO, CompTIA Educational Foundation. “We develop our education with employers’ needs in mind so that we ensure future career success for our participants.”
For example, Grzegorz SÅ‚owikowski gained a position as an IT support trainee with BITLAB in Lublin. His supervisor commented that he had a “very good knowledge basis from his ECDL training, was a fast learner and had a flexible work approach.” BITLAB plans to continue working with SÅ‚owikowski in the future.
The Creating Futures program provides career opportunities to groups of people historically underrepresented in the IT industry, including military veterans, individuals with disabilities, minorities, women, at-risk youth and dislocated workers. All candidate applications are screened before selected for the Creating Futures program. Training, mentoring, courseware, practice exams and certification vouchers are provided at no cost to these individuals.
“With the Irish and Polish projects, we gained the knowledge and skills to adapt Creating Futures in other parts of the world and with other populations,” added Venator. “With more funding, we hope to replicate the program on a larger scale internationally.”
Individuals and companies can make a donation and prospective participants can apply for training by visiting the Creating Futures Web site.