The Computing Technology Industry Association is advancing its efforts to promote IT careers to African-Americans and other minorities.
The Computing Technology Industry
is advancing its efforts to promote IT careers to
African-Americans and other minorities.
In a Feb. 10 announcement, the IT industry support advocacy group announced
that its CompTIA Educational Foundation is ramping up to help more
African-American students enter the IT work force. The group said, "The
CompTIA Educational Foundation provided 239 African-Americans with free IT
training and certification last year, and another 19 received merit award
scholarships to help them further their educational goals." CompTIA aims
to surpass that in 2010.
"African Americans are finding
new tech career success, although they are still somewhat under-represented in
the IT workforce. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2008 calculated that approximately
574,000 African Americans worked in IT and related fields. African Americans
make up roughly 12.5 percent of the entire U.S. population, compared to only
8.6 percent of the IT workforce.
To help diversify the IT workforce,
the Foundation's Creating Futures program provides training and certification
opportunities to U.S. veterans, individuals with disabilities, women, minorities, at-risk
youth and dislocated workers. The program works with employers to identify
their hiring needs, then tailors its training to help individuals obtain the
skills employers require. The Foundation's IT Merit Awards Scholarships
recognize outstanding accomplishments by students and adult learners in both
the CompTIA Education to Careers (E2C) and CompTIA Learning Alliance (CLA)
programs who have trained for and received CompTIA certification."
"Our industry can only grow stronger with more diversification and more
qualified technicians," John Venator, president and CEO
of the CompTIA Educational Foundation, said in a statement. "IT jobs are
available, but we lack enough qualified workers to fill them. With programs
like Creating Futures and the IT Merit Awards, we help more individuals launch
a career in IT. However, we need more companies and training organizations to
CompTIA's statement continued:
"Two recent African American
merit award winners came from the Barbara Jordan High School (BJHS) in Houston,
Texas, a magnet school that makes it possible for students to earn a high
school diploma while acquiring career and technical skills in their chosen
career. Recognized by receiving the National High Schools that Work Gold award,
it was one of only ten recipients to receive the award in 2009. [...]
BJHS combines hands-on study with
online curriculum. The school works with HP[Hewlett-Packard] and the Houston Community College System (HCCS), but needs more local business support."
On the subject of the two winners, CompTIA said:
"BJHS Seniors Dennis Christian
and Lyndon Bolden passed their CompTIA A+ certification tests last fall and
already have been accepted into Texas'
top universities. [Christian] will attend Texas A&M University in the fall and plans on majoring in
telecommunications. ... [Bolden] will attend the University of Texas to major in management information systems."
"Dennis and Lyndon exemplify the type of bright students our industry
wants," Venator said. "Let's work together to help even more people
join our industry."
Kevin McDonald, an instructor in the Creating Futures program, said,
"Our students need to see where the job opportunities are and what those
jobs are like, so that the students can see themselves in those roles. We need
more local companies to allow field trips to their offices and job shadowing."
"Individuals and companies can
make a donation and learn about partnering opportunities, and prospective
participants can apply for IT training, by visiting the CompTIA Educational
Foundation Web site, http://www.CompTIA-EF.org."