The first group of students began information technology (IT) training through Employ Milwaukee’s TechHire IT training program on March 20.

Classes are held at the Milwaukee TechForce Training Center, located at 1916 N. 4th Street. Employ Milwaukee and its partner Blue 1647 are providing training for individuals who wish to pursue a career in certain IT occupations. After completing the 10-week program, the students will have earned the industry recognized CompTIA A Plus certification and gained additional IT skills making them job ready for an entry or mid-level IT position.

“I’m inspired by this collaboration which illustrates why Milwaukee received the White House TechHire Community designation last year. This is about helping people get the skills to operate in this economy. There are so many family-supporting jobs out there that are tech-related that we want our residents to be trained for these positions,” said Mayor Tom Barrett.

The TechHire grant was awarded to Employ Milwaukee in 2016 as part of the Compete Midwest H-1B TechHire Partnership, a regional collaboration with St. Louis and Cincinnati. The goal of TechHire is to connect individuals to well-paying jobs, such as Web Developers and Database Administrators, in high growth sectors.

“Across industries, there is a need for workers trained in technical occupations. The TechHire program will allow us to rapidly train individuals for certain IT occupations. We are looking forward to working with our partners to put individuals, especially our young people, on career pathways in the tech field,” said Earl Buford, President and CEO of Employ Milwaukee. “This is an excellent example of an innovative partnership designed to develop an educated and skilled workforce.”

BLUE1647 is an entrepreneurship and technology innovation center that fosters economic development in technology and 21st Century skills through people development (classes, workshops, and events around technology), workforce development (through youth and adult technology programs to prepare individuals for high-demand jobs) and Business Acceleration (through shared co-working-services). As a beacon of resource, BLUE1647 provides impactful individuals and organizations the resources to realize their ideas for a better world. Listed in the first City of Chicago Technology Plan, the BLUE1647 community is a vibrant example of the ways in which creative professionals, entrepreneurs, change-makers, and nonprofits can come together to make meaningful, lasting impact.

“We are excited to be partnering with Employ Milwaukee to train individuals through the TechHire program,” said Allyson Scrutchens, Chief Strategy Officer, Blue 1647. “We will be focusing on the A Plus certification for anyone who plans to pursue an entry or mid-level position in a technology field. Additionally, we will provide Network Plus certification to give students qualifications for networking, wireless, and managing access points.”

TechHire classes will be held at the Milwaukee TechForce Training Center, a new home for education and workforce development that provides a bridge between adult basic education and rewarding careers in Information Technology (IT). Co-located with the Adult Learning Center (ALC) on the campus of St. Francis of Assisi Church on Milwaukee’s near north side, TechForce was developed by HACM in partnership with St. Francis, ALC, Employ Milwaukee, Milwaukee Area Technical College and Milwaukee Public Schools.

“The TechHire training is helping to realize the vision of the Milwaukee TechForce Training Center as a valuable neighborhood asset,” said Tony Pérez, Secretary-Executive Director of the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee (HACM). “The TechForce partnership brings together multiple public and private resources to create a pathway for local residents to achieve good quality of life through family-sustaining jobs.”

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Quorum Architects, Inc.