May 23, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SLO County Office of Education, SLO Partners & Creating IT Futures Team Up
to Bring Paid IT Training & Apprenticeship Program to the Central Coast

Applications Accepted Until June 22

San Luis Obispo SLO County Office of Education,  SLO Partners and Creating IT Futures and are embarking on a new career training and apprenticeship program to grow the tech workforce in San Luis Obispo County.

On July 10, Creating IT Futures will launch two classes of its eight-week IT-Ready career program. Each class can accept up to 25 adults. No prior tech education or emphasis in math or science are needed by potential students. Applications will be accepted through June 22 at SLOPartners.org.

At no cost to students, IT-Ready assesses, trains, certifies and places unemployed and under-employed adults in their first jobs in the tech field, which has a shortage of qualified workers. These two classes are underwritten by the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education, so each student will be given a stipend of $70 a day – a first for any IT-Ready program. SLO County Office of Education recently was awarded funding through the California Apprenticeship Initiative.
After eight weeks of training, 60 percent of the IT-Ready students will move forward into the apprenticeship part of the program, with half learning IT networking and security and the other half learning automated software testing for six weeks. The apprentices then will begin a year of salaried, on-the-job training with local employers. The other 40 percent of IT-Ready students will be introduced to local employers for immediate job openings.

Assembly Member Jordan Cunningham fully supports apprenticeships, “Apprenticeship opens doors for employment and builds a bridge between education and the workforce.”

Dr. James Brescia, San Luis Obispo County Superintendent of Schools, envisions this as a countywide collaborative, “Engaging both business and education in developing pathways to opportunity and a skilled local talent pipeline is a top priority for the SLO Co. Office of Education, Cuesta College and all of our school districts.”
Russ Levanway, CEO of San Luis Obispo-based managed IT services provider TekTegrity, says “The IT-Ready model is very well thought out. The intense eight-week training, combined with taking and passing relevant CompTIA certification tests, will provide students with strong baseline knowledge. This will set the students up for success as apprentices mentored by journeymen in the companies they work for during the on-the-job training phase. This program will bring quality people who need new opportunities into the IT workforce.”

“The tech industry needs more workers that are versed in both hard tech skills and softer employability skills like communication and conflict resolution. Our IT-Ready program provides just that,” said Charles Eaton, CEO, Creating IT Futures. “We’ve brought our IT-Ready program to 10 other cities in the U.S., all with long-lasting success for both our graduates and their employers. We’re excited to enlarge the program in San Luis Obispo and create a new group of skilled tech workers for local area businesses.”

TECH Pass

What Do IT-Ready Students Learn?

In the IT-Ready program, students get hands-on labs taking apart and building desktop computers and other hardware; learn about motherboards, printers, peripheral devices, memory and physical storage, connections and mobile devices; set up computer networks and troubleshoot networks, displays, printers, and operating systems; configure operating systems and hardware; and secure networks, systems and data.

IT-Ready students also receive targeted professional development in key business “soft” skills such as professional communication and presentation, teamwork and collaboration, and critical thinking and problem solving. IT-Ready graduates are grounded in these key skills and prepared to apply them on day one of their new jobs. After completing their eight weeks of training, the students sit for the CompTIA A+ certification exam which covers desktop and help-desk technical support duties and skills.

The classes will be held at Cal Poly and Cuesta College North County Campus in Paso Robles from July 10 – September 1. Students selected for the continuing apprentice program will stay with the program through October 2018.

Potential employers, mentors, students and community partners can learn more at SLOPartners.org.

About Creating IT Futures
Founded in 1998 by CompTIA, Creating IT Futures is a 501(c)(3) charity with the mission of helping populations underrepresented in the information technology industry and individuals who are lacking in opportunity to prepare for, secure, and be successful in IT careers. Learn more at CreatingITFutures.org.

About SLO Partners

SLO Partners was formed under the aegis of the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education in 2014 to address college and career readiness among the county’s student population. SLO Partners’ mission is to engage business partners and educators in aligning workforce needs with school career pathways and provide work experience opportunities to ensure that students have the skills and knowledge necessary for success in the workplace and businesses have the skilled workers required for a sound growing economy. SLO Partners in committed to collaborating with local businesses and education for pathways to opportunity and a strong local talent pipeline. Learn more at www.slopartners.org

Media Contacts:

Lisa Fasold                                             Dan Weeks                                                           Michael Specchierla

Creating IT Futures                              SLOPartners                                                             SLO Partners

(630) 678-8558                                     (858) 354-7778                                                       (905) 782-7273

lfasold@comptia.org                      dweeks@slopartners.org                                  mspecchierla@slopartners.org

We love helping people with computer problems. In fact, we’re certified in it. Our team thrives on ever-changing technology and focuses on supporting business computer networks. Based in San Luis Obispo, since 1992, we serve the Central Coast of California, including San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, Templeton, Atascadero, Arroyo Grande, Nipomo and Santa Maria.