Second ‘IT On Demand’ Training Program Graduates 16

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Nov. 12, 2014Tech Collective, Rhode Island’s IT and Bioscience industry association, held the graduation of its second “IT On Demand” program cohort on Friday, Nov. 7 at Kirkbrae Country Club in Lincoln, R.I. Sixteen participants successfully completed the program, with 10 placed in internships and six placed in fulltime jobs to date.

This 2014 session of IT On Demand is supported by Workforce Solutions of Providence/Cranston and the Workforce Partnership of Greater Rhode Island with funds provided by a grant from the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (RI DLT) and the US Department of Labor. RI DLT Director, Charles Fogarty, provided opening remarks to the audience, reinforcing the critical value of cross industry-government partnerships in strengthening Rhode Island’s workforce.

Designed and delivered with industry involvement, IT On Demand provides unemployed IT practitioners with technical, business, and experiential training. The 14-week program aims to advance participants’ technical and business skill sets and prepare them to re-enter the workforce at the mid-level.

IT On Demand participant, Rick Solari, was looking to do just that. After spending 33 years in the IT industry, Rick found himself unemployed with an outdated technical skill set and no experience writing a resume or going on interviews: “My interest in the IT On Demand program stemmed from the technical training; but it quickly grew to also encompass the business and soft skills training, interviewing, networking, and company tours and speakers. For me, those were critical.”

Rick completed the final component of the IT On Demand program – his internship with AGI Construction, Inc. – at the end of October and began fulltime employment with the company on November 3.

More than 130 applications were received for this IT On Demand session. After initial screening and interviews, qualified candidates were invited to participate in a morning of interviews with Rhode Island IT employers, who ultimately selected the cohort of 17. Participants each have previous IT experience in various capacities as well as have demonstrated a desire and ability to learn and apply new skill sets. Participants then entered a rigorous curriculum which included:

Technical Training: the most in-demand technical practice area as chosen by IT employers. For this session, employers chose C# programming with Visual Studio 2010. Training was provided by New Horizons.

Business:  including customer service, critical thinking, communication, and agile project management. Bryant University’s Executive Development Center delivered the business skills training, with participants earning a Business Management Certificate.

Experiential: an 8-week, hands-on learning component with a Rhode Island IT employer. Employers interviewed and selected participants for the internship positions.

Ten Rhode Island IT employers hired and/or hosted IT On Demand participants for experiential learning internships, including: AGI Construction, Inc.; Bishop Keough High School; Brave River Solutions; Computer Associates, Inc.; Custom Computer Spets; Fidelity Investments; Providence Mutual; The Providence Plan; Rhode Island Foundation; and Scandia Consulting.

2014 IT On Demand Graduation Class - 110714 - reduced file size

Computer Associates, Inc. has hired three IT On Demand participants and is currently hosting one experiential learning participant, Ed Wingert. Ed had previously worked in the IT industry before deciding to make a transition to focus on software engineering. After graduating from the New England Institute of Technology, Ed became frustrated by a job search that always seemed to demand senior-level experience – which he did not have. Ed saw IT On Demand as “providing an opportunity for individuals to enter the industry we might not otherwise get. I was impressed with the way the program design mirrors what the industry requires and by the willingness of local companies to participate in it. My role at Computer Associates utilizes many of the skills learned during the course of the IT On Demand program.”

The impact of the IT On Demand program on employers was additionally echoed by Chris Kudla, vice president of product development for Computer Associates, Inc.: “Like many companies, Computer Associates has been challenged with finding qualified IT talent. When we learned about Tech Collective and the IT On Demand program, it seemed like a natural fit for us. Not only have we been able to hire several graduates of the program, the participants themselves have also provided us with valuable input that we will utilize as our company grows and continues to move forward. Our company’s experience with IT On Demand is a good barometer of how successful this program can be and of how well-spent the participants’ time has been.”

This is the second installment of Tech Collective’s IT On Demand program. In December 2013, the pilot session of the program graduated 16 previously underemployed or unemployed IT professionals, 15 of which became employed in IT roles across industries. More than 10 companies participated in the pilot program.

“The continued success of Tech Collective’s IT On Demand program and its graduates demonstrates the commitment Rhode Island’s IT employers and stakeholders have made to advancing our industry and our economy,” said Kathie Shields, executive director of Tech Collective. “It’s a commitment to not only develop a strong talent pipeline, but also employ that talent and do so with an innovative, sustainable approach. Tech Collective thanks our employer partners as well as Workforce Solutions of Providence/Cranston and the Workforce Partnership of Greater Rhode Island. We are extremely proud of today’s IT On Demand graduates and look forward to their continued growth and contributions to Rhode Island.”

More information about Tech Collective’s IT on Demand program can be found at www.tech-collective.org.

 

Tech Collective
Tech Collective is Rhode Island’s Information Technology and Bioscience Industry Association. Uniting industry, government and academic stakeholders, our mission is to inspire, engage, educate and employ a high-skill, high-wage Knowledge Economy in Rhode Island. Since its transition from the Rhode Island Technology Council (RITEC) in 2004, Tech Collective has received more than $8M in federal, state and private grant funding to foster industry collaboration, awareness and development through forums and initiatives including the Tech10 Awards, the Rhode Island Bioscience Awards, IT Managers Roundtable, Bio-Ed, and Women in Technology. STEM-based education and training programs such as GRRL Tech, the Fellowship program, and IT On Demand span across the workforce pipeline for K-16 students through incumbent and transitioning workers. Get connected to Tech Collective at www.tech-collective.org, on LinkedIn (Tech-Collective), on Twitter (@Tech_Collective), and on Facebook (TechCollectiveRI).

 

Workforce Partnership of Greater Rhode Island
The mission of the Workforce Partnership of Greater RI (WPGRI) is to provide strategic leadership to meet the current and future human resource needs of Rhode Island’s employers and to ensure a well-trained, self-sufficient and adaptable workforce. The Workforce Partnership of Greater Rhode Island, Inc. is an employment and training resource providing responsive, market-based solutions for employers and potential workers. WPGRI will collaborate with business, labor, education leaders and community-based organizations to establish a dynamic, outcome-driven, visible resource providing measurable and comprehensive market-driven based employment and training services. These services will include the provision of information, technical assistance and life-long training opportunities to customers. Employers will have access to a well-trained and dependable workforce. Learn more: http://www.griworkforce.com/.

 

Workforce Solutions of Providence/Cranston
Workforce Solutions of Providence/Cranston is the administrative entity for the Providence/Cranston Workforce Investment Board. Their mission is to continuously improve the Providence/Cranston workforce investment area’s capacity to connect people, employers, jobs, education, and service. Their vision is to create a rich, vibrant, competitive economy in the Providence/Cranston workforce investment area where people find good jobs, employers find the skilled workers they need, and where all parties find the Providence/Cranston area a place they want to live, work, and invest. Learn more: https://www.providenceri.com/wspc.

Leave a comment

Avatar About the Author: The Rhode Island Small Business Journal is a printed monthly magazine and an online resource for the aspiring and start-up entrepreneur and small business owner.

previous arrow
next arrow
Slider