It’s time for a change.
Those are the words I said as I packed up my car for a 30 hour drive to Las Vegas, from Michigan.
I started my career in Las Vegas in the Finance and Insurance industries. Three years ago, I joined New Horizons Learning Group. It was the best career move I could have asked for. There are a variety of reasons why, but I’ll get to the most important reason here shortly.
As I began to involve myself in the IT community, I heard the same thing over and over. I consistently heard that we do not have enough IT talent to fill open roles, and that many companies were bringing in talent from other states. The first thing I thought, is there has to be something, no matter how small, that I can do to help companies hire locally. I brought my concern to our Director, Sean McKesson, and together we did what we do best, we brainstormed!
Here’s where the best career move story continues. This company cares about its communities, its employees, and its students. From paid days off to volunteer in the community and placement of our students in life changing jobs to NH Saturdays, where we invite the community in for free Saturday learning sessions. This is all very important to me!
So Sean and I created a program called The Early Career Acceleration Program (ECAP). We were given approval to do what we needed to do to make a difference immediately, even as we mentioned that we would be giving back 5% of the company’s sales in Nevada. Again, this is why I say it was the best career move. I don’t know many companies that allow employees to make decisions like this.
What is ECAP? As mentioned, 5% of our business sales go back to the community in the form of IT scholarships. These scholarships cover CompTIA A+, Network+, or Security+ training. During the time we spent visiting schools, non-profits, and IT networking events, we came across ITWorks. ITWorks is a TREMENDOUS program put on by Tech Impact. Sean and I volunteered our time, and really grew to love the program. We opened up the scholarship program to these students.
Our scholarship program has since grown. Why? Because of the amazing clients we have spending their dollars with us! Not only do they receive world class needed training, but they give back to the community at the same time.
What do I need now?
I need scholarship recipients! Do you know someone who has a passion for IT? An organization you believe we could partner with?
I need businesses to continue to spend their training dollars with us.
I need businesses open to internships or interviews for these recipients after they pass their certifications. I look at it as a feeder program, and a free test run. If these students show dedication and knowledge by passing their certifications, they’ve shown a level of dedication that would ideally be enough for an internship or interview.
The long term possibilities for this program are endless: continuously building the list of recipients, building internship agreements, and expanding the CompTIA offerings to include roadmaps specific to our clients hiring needs, to name a few.
Let’s build our local community and hire from within.
It’s time for a change.