In the midst of a global pandemic, 16 students ventured on a journey to reshape their career future. The Opa-locka Community Developed Corporation (OLCDC) offered a ray of sun to anyone who dared catch their beam with their 12-week, TechFutures Initiative. The TechFutures Initiative offered students a 12-week COMP TIA ITF+ course, that was free to the community.
The course was intended to be in-person, but with COVID, it pivoted to an online format instead, hoping to still accommodate the students enrolled. As students began to lose jobs and the shifting of the job market, the free training became even more vital to offer.
“It is so important for individuals in our community to be afforded the opportunity to advance and up-skill themselves in the area of technology,” said LaTasha Bratton, Education Manager at OLCDC. “We want our community to have viable options, that will yield them a successful career. With COVID now an everyday reality, we really needed to arm our community with practical skills that they can use now.” The course took place this fall and offered the fundamental basics of information technology. The participants learned - •Setting up and installing common peripheral devices to a laptop/PC •Securing a basic wireless network •Managing applications software •Understanding the various components of an operating system •Understanding computer programming concepts •Understanding database concepts, structures, and purpose “I want to use the skills learned from this course to get a good-paying job,” said Lousindy Mitton, a graduate of the program. The students meet in a Zoom class Monday- Thursday. Every other Friday’s class focused on preparation of soft skill training and job readiness skills. Students had online labs that allowed them digital access to practice for the certified test. The students also had unrestricted access to the instructor for extra help when needed.
Just in time for the Thanksgiving Holiday, twelve of 16 students graduated from the program. Five students passed the certification test, and the remaining students, prepared and ready, will complete the test right before the Christmas holiday. A virtual graduation was held for students, which included staff from OLCDC, the Florida Education Fund (F.E.F), the class instructor, and students’ families. Special guest, Sheri Colas-Gervais, V.P., Executive Director of Miami Community Ventures from Miami-Dade Beacon Council, popped in the virtual ceremony to congratulate the students and offer potential job placement to graduates.
We honored our graduates with a surprise gift box that included their graduation certificate, and many other special useful gifts. We even included gift cards so they could enjoy a celebratory lunch on us! Even though COVID changed the formatting of our class to virtual learning, it didn’t change the spirit of the class or the knowledge our students gained. Students enjoyed the class, the instructor, and are eagerly waiting for OLCDC to offer the next course, which will be a certification in the COMP TIA A+ Course.
For more information about the upcoming course or technical trainings offered, email Tanya Williams at email@example.com