DOWNERS GROVE, Ill., July 7, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- CompTIA, the IT Industry Trade Association, said today new job training opportunities in information technology (IT) skills will soon be available to dislocated workers and the unemployed in Illinois.
The U.S. Department of Labor awarded CompTIA Workforce Development, LLC and the State of Illinois a $6,175,000 Job-Driven National Emergency Grant to train workers who have lost a job through no fault of their own for jobs in high-demand industries such as IT. Across the country, grants totaling $154.8 million were awarded to implement or expand job-training programs.
"Illinois holds a vibrant and growing place in the nation's IT industry," said Todd Thibodeaux, president and chief executive officer, CompTIA. "But to maintain and expand this presence we need to bring more workers in to the IT workforce. This federal grant recognizes the importance of IT to the nation's economy and security. More importantly, we're expanding opportunities for people to access the training they need to re-enter the workforce."
Illinois employers posted nearly 40,000 job openings for IT positions during the first quarter of 2014, according to labor markets analytics and consulting firm Burning Glass. These job openings were not limited to technology companies. Employers in education, financial services, healthcare manufacturing, retail and many other sectors had open IT positions.
Among the in-demand IT positions across the state are computer support specialists, network engineers, software developers and engineers, security engineers, business intelligence and data analysts and web developers.
The grant will fund occupational and work-based training, such as apprenticeships, internships, on-the-job training, job coaching and job matching. Participants will also have opportunities for industry credentialing and certification in a range of IT skills
"Work-based training is a key project component because it provides much-needed income during the training period and helps participants quickly re-enter the workforce, learn new skills and obtain employment that offers long-term potential for advancement and growth," said Gretchen Koch, executive director, workforce development programs, CompTIA.
Populations targeted for assistance include dislocated workers across Illinois, with priority given to the long-term unemployed; people who are likely to exhaust their unemployment insurance benefits; recent military veterans; and foreign-trained dislocated immigrant workers facing barriers in their trained professions.
CompTIA Workforce Development, LLC is the lead entity for the Information Technology Learning Exchange, which is part of Illinois Pathways. This State of Illinois-led STEM education initiative is designed to support college and career readiness for all students; and to improve coordination of public and private investment, including business and industry, in supporting the development of a workforce that can be competitive in tomorrow's economy.