Thursday, September 01, 2011

CompTIA Enlists in National Campaign to Employ U.S. Veterans

New Troops to Tech Careers initiative offers IT training, certification and job placement services
Downers Grove, Ill., Aug. 23, 2011 – CompTIA, the non-profit association for the information technology (IT) industry, today introduced a new initiative aimed at bringing United States military veterans into the nation’s IT workforce.
CompTIA’s Troops to Tech Careers program will help veterans make the transition from the armed forces to the civilian workforce – specifically in IT jobs. CompTIA is working on pilot programs in 23 cities across the country, including Austin, Texas; Chicago; Detroit; Jacksonville, Fla.; Nashville, Tenn.; and in Southern California.
“The service and sacrifice that these men and women have given to our nation makes it incumbent on all of us to ease their transition to civilian life by making employment opportunities available to them,” said Todd Thibodeaux, president and chief executive officer, CompTIA.
“At a time when other industries are shedding jobs, the IT sector continues to offer an abundance of career opportunities,” Thibodeaux continued. “Current estimates place the number of open IT jobs around the country at more than 450,000. With the proper training and certification, our veterans offer a ready-made solution for employers looking to fill these openings.”
CompTIA unveiled the new initiative at the Illinois Warrior Summit and Fourth Annual Welcome Home Celebration, taking place today at Chicago’s Soldier Field. The annual event, which last year attracted nearly 4,000 people, assists veterans and service members with obtaining information about benefits, employment, education, housing and legal services.
“New Horizons is proud to have this opportunity to support the men and women who have worked tirelessly to protect and serve our country,” said Shelley Morris, group vice president, products and programs, New Horizons. “We look forward to providing them with the training they need to continue to excel as civilians.”
CompTIA’s new program launches at a time of renewed focus on the needs of military personnel transitioning back to civilian life. Between 2011 and 2016, more than one million service members are expected to return from Iraq and Afghanistan and seek training, education and employment. That’s in addition to the one million veterans currently unemployed.
Earlier this month President Obama outlined a series of government initiatives aimed at employing America’s veterans, including employer tax credits for hiring veterans; building a “career-ready military” that maximizes the career-readiness of all service members; and delivering enhanced job search services to veterans through the One Stop Career Centers. The President also challenged the private sector to hire or train 100,000 unemployed veterans or their spouses by 2013.
The CompTIA Troops to Tech Careers program will work through the public workforce system to ensure that any returning veteran with the aptitude and interest in a technical IT career will receive the training, credentialing and job placement assistance needed to join the IT workforce
After an initial assessment, veterans will be directed to training options appropriate for their interests and skill sets. Veterans will also be prepared to take the exams to earn CompTIA IT skills certifications.
CompTIA certifications are the recognized industry standards for a broad range of technology skills, including PC fundamentals and repair, networking, security, servers, Linux, project management, printing and document imaging, RFID and convergence technologies. With more than 1.5 million certifications awarded worldwide, CompTIA is the largest provider of vendor-neutral certifications for IT professionals. In addition to acceptance in the private sector, the U.S. Department of Defense recognizes CompTIA certifications in its technical and management tracks for information assurance technicians and managers under DoD Directive 8570.1M. CompTIA certifications are also part of the State Department Skills Incentive Program.
The final step involves helping veterans streamline their search for IT career opportunities by using the CompTIA Job Board and other employment resources available through the One Stop Centers, training providers and career websites such as CareerBuilder, Dice, Monster and others.
Specifically targeting the military veteran market to retrain them for the civilian IT workforce is not new for CompTIA, which has been offering training scholarships and certification vouchers to qualifying veterans through its philanthropic foundation since 1998. 
“Veterans may not always leave the military with the resources they need to make a smooth transition to a technical civilian job,” said Charles Eaton, executive director of the Creating IT Futures Foundation. “What they do have is work discipline and receptiveness to training that the military is so known for instilling. IT needs veterans, so this is a perfect win-win.”
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