Press Releases

Creating IT Futures Foundation to Train Adults for Tech Jobs in Chicago

Sep 09, 2015

Applications for Tuition-Free Training Now Open

Downers Grove, Ill. — The Creating IT Futures Foundation is bringing its IT-Ready model of training and job placement to Chicago this fall to help unemployed and under-employed adults gain their first jobs in the information technology (IT) field, which has a shortage of qualified workers.

The accelerated tech training program is no cost to students (18 years of age or older) and earns them a foothold in an upwardly mobile IT career. Since the program was established in 2012, 90 percent of students graduating from IT-Ready classes managed by Creating IT Futures have earned their CompTIA A+ certification and more than 80 percent have landed paid IT jobs.

Partnering with the Greater Englewood Community Development Corporation (CDC) and their EnglewoodBlue Business and Technology Accelerator, Creating IT Futures will host an eight-week IT-Ready class at EnglewoodBlue for as many as 25 adult students starting on October 26. Applications will be accepted through October 12 at www.ITReady.com.

“Chicago’s tech communities continue to grow, and we need more people with quality tech skills to help our city’s entrepreneurs thrive,” said Glen Fulton, executive director, Greater Englewood CDC.

“We look forward to bringing the IT-Ready model to our EnglewoodBlue state-of-the-art IT education facilities and helping more workers join the developing tech industry,” said Bruce Montgomery, chief technology officer, Greater Englewood CDC/EnglewoodBlue.

Chicago is the third pop-up location of IT-Ready for the Foundation, following success in Omaha, Neb., in 2014 and in Philadelphia this spring. Creating IT Futures uses the one-time, pop-up format to introduce communities to the IT-Ready model for potential long-term management by local, non-profit partners. Accelerated programs that meet IT-Ready standards currently are offered year-round in Cincinnati; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas; Minneapolis / St. Paul; New York City; and the Washington, D.C., area by the IT-Ready Network of partners. 

“Last June at the Clinton Global Initiative, we launched the IT-Ready Network with the goal of training 5,000 people for IT careers by 2018,” said Charles Eaton, CEO of Creating IT Futures Foundation. “Both the Foundation and our parent organization, CompTIA, are headquartered in the Chicago area, so it’s only natural that Chicago is the next city in our expansion. We are committed to helping hard-working individuals get the skills training and employer connections they need to find career success in the IT industry. We’re excited to partner with Greater Englewood CDC/EnglewoodBlue in the expansion of the IT-Ready model.”

What Do IT-Ready Students Learn?

In the IT-Ready training model, 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 initial training, the students sit for the CompTIA A+ certification exam which covers desktop and help-desk technical support duties and skills.

IT-Ready students receive:

  • Free tuition, books and learning materials,
  • More than 240 hours of classroom and hands-on tech and soft skills training,
  • Certification vouchers toward the CompTIA A+ exam, and
  • A mentor to guide the student during their classroom training and on-the-job work experience.

Beyond recruiting for participants for IT-Ready training, Creating IT Futures is looking for Chicago businesses to commit to considering the resumes of CompTIA A+ certified IT-Ready graduates and interviewing qualified candidates for entry-level IT positions. Dozens of participating IT-Ready employers in other cities include such recognized names as HealthPartners, JPMorgan Chase, Pomeroy, TEKsystems and Time Warner Cable. These companies have received the benefits of skilled workers and simultaneously helped their communities. Interested employers should contact Amy Spear at aspear@comptia.org.

Potential employers, mentors, students and community partners can learn more at www.ITReady.com.

About the Creating IT Futures Foundation 
As the philanthropic arm of CompTIA, the Creating IT Futures Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity with the mission of helping populations under-represented 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 www.creatingITfutures.org

About Greater Englewood Community Development Corporation/EnglewoodBlue.com
The Greater Englewood CDC is a 501c3 nonprofit corporation whose mission is to “rebrand, rebuild and revitalize” the Greater Englewood Community by building on community assets and facilitating sustainable public/private collaborations with residents and key community development stakeholders. EnglewoodBlue.com is a small business accelerator and workforce development IT Training center.  It is physically located and operated by the Greater Englewood CDC. Our mission is to offer start-up, early stage, small businesses resources and IT training to accelerate the development entrepreneurial ventures and advance their job creation efforts. 

Media Contacts:

Lisa Fasold    
Creating IT Futures Foundation
630-678-8558
lfasold@comptia.org

Bruce Montgomery
Greater Englewood CDC/EnglewoodBlue
312-725-8601

bruce@englewoodblue.com