At a time when many young people are struggling to get ahead, NPower Texas is expanding its flagship Tech Fundamentals program to Dallas-Fort Worth. The free training gives 18- to 26-year-olds the opportunity to skill up for in-demand tech jobs that are forecasted to grow in 2022.
NPower has extended the application deadline for its next training cohort to August 15.
The free, 16-week virtual training program was created for young adults from underserved and marginalized communities in Dallas-Fort Worth, as well as military veterans and their spouses.
NPower’s Tech Fundamentals program teaches students the basics of programming and information technology and offers students opportunities to earn various certifications.
Mission: Moving people from poverty to the middle class
NPower is a national nonprofit with a mission to move people from poverty to the middle class. Its free tech training program for young people is backed by corporations and by donations from billionaires such as novelist and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, the former wife of billionaire Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, who donated $15 million to NPower last March.
NPower graduate success stories
Two recent NPower Tech Fundamentals graduates showcase the program’s success.
Before joining the NPower program, Rasheda Walker was facing the most difficult period of her life. She recognized the need to obtain skills and training to ease the life stressor which affected her strength to overcome many personal challenges, NPower said.
When she saw the organization at a veteran’s job fair, she grabbed the opportunity for its free training and the opportunities it could provide. She ended up getting not only tech instruction, but much-needed social support as well.
“It’s OK to be a beginner at something,” Walker said in a statement, “because you can continue to learn and develop.”
In a little over five months, she learned new technical and life skills, earned multiple certifications, and has begun an apprenticeship with CITI.
“I could not have imagined these accomplishments a short while ago,” Walker said. “With my new skills, I plan to work hard as an apprentice with the goal to obtain a full-time career in a specialized field, then move on to advanced training
Pravin Shrestha, a Fall 2021 graduate of the program, was the first in his family to come to the U.S, and pursue his education.
He graduated from Brookhaven College in Farmers Branch, then got an undergraduate degree from East Central University. After joining the Army Reserve, he started his own business, but wanted to explore a career in IT.
After the pandemic hit, he heard about NPower, sold his business, and took the organization’s professional development classes. He completed his own successful apprenticeship with CITI and has recently been promoted to a full-time role as a compliance anti-money laundering analyst.
Dallas-Fort Worth ‘has so much untapped potential’ for tech labor
Jonathan Pride, executive director of NPower Texas, says expanding into Dallas-Fort Worth was a long time coming. The region has “so much untapped potential in the form of underserved young adults and veterans,” Pride says.
The program’s effectiveness elsewhere provides a strong blueprint for success in Texas.
“NPower Texas is one of the fastest-growing work training hubs in the U.S.” he said, noting that DFW is home to the fifth-largest tech labor force in the country.
NPower’s program was created to help businesses find new tech talent and young adults launch new careers.
NPower Texas located at innovation center south of downtown Dallas
NPower Texas is located within Dallas College’s Bill J. Priest Small Business Innovation Center, just south of downtown Dallas. Since 2013, the nonprofit has provided tuition-free tech training and certifications to veterans and their spouses. According to the NPower website, it offers an “alternative fast-track to tech jobs” with employers committed to hiring diverse IT talent.
80% of graduates get a full-time job or continue education; average salary jump of 384%
Students who enter NPower’s program earn industry-recognized certifications and graduate with the competencies of an IT professional with one to two years of experience, NPower said in a statement. The nonprofit also places its young students in paid internships with corporate and nonprofit organizations.
According to national data from NPower, the nonprofit said that 80% of its graduates get a full-time job or continue their education and that its graduates see an average salary increase of 384%.
Veterans program is supported by grant
The veterans program is supported by a grant from the Texas Veterans Commission Fund for Veterans’ Assistance, which provides grants to organizations serving veterans and their families.
More than 400,000 veterans and their spouses living in North Texas are underemployed, NPower said, and are challenged to adapt to the specialized workforce.
More than 50% of all jobs require tech or digital skills
NPower noted that in today’s economy, more than 50% of all jobs require some degree of technology and digital skill. A recent Microsoft Data Science report estimates that U.S. digital job capacity—the total number of new technology-oriented jobs—will grow to 13 million by 2025, NPower said.
Beyond Texas, NPower operates in New York, California, Maryland, Toronto, New Jersey, Missouri, and Michigan.
To apply or for more information, visit the nonprofit’s website.
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