Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC), a non-profit organization that is committed to transforming under-resourced communities into vibrant, desirable and engaged neighborhoods, was recently named a recipient of Microsoft Corp.’s competitive community skills grant program to support professional skills development programs. The OLCDC’s initiative will help participants, primarily Black and Latino young adults, as well as returning citizens, learn new technical skills to put them on a path to higher-wage jobs.
OLCDC aims to help build the talent pipeline needed to fill the region’s open jobs by training adults in tech skills that often lead to middle-class careers. As a part of the Tech Hire Center and Tech Futures Initiatives, the OLCDC will convene free Comp TIA ITF+ and Free Comp TIA A+ courses, two Fresh Start Classes for returning citizens and free coding programs for elementary, middle and high school students.
“Economic prosperity is vital to the health of communities and its residents, which is why we launched a workforce development program. We want to create a pathway for breakthrough
for people who want to level up in their careers,” said Nikisha Williams, Chief Operating Officer, OLCDC. “We are excited to work with Microsoft as we teach new skills, reduce the digital divide and help job seekers secure at least median wage opportunities.”
OLCDC was one of 50 grantees selected to receive a multi-year unrestricted cash grant, plus leadership development opportunities from industry experts to strengthen OLCDC’s networks and support the professional development of OLCDC leaders. Additionally, OLCDC will receive technology enablement support from Microsoft, which will provide software and digital consulting services, to support OLCDC’s digital transformation for
improved technological capacity.
“Last June, our CEO Satya Nadella committed Microsoft to put its data, technology, and partnerships to work to help improve the lives of Black and African American people across the country,” said Kate Behncken, Vice President and Lead of Microsoft Philanthropies. “We’re proud to partner with these fifty organizations, led by and serving Black and African American people, that are providing access to the digital skills needed for so many jobs today. We’re inspired by their work, and excited we can be a part of it.”
The economic crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic and accelerating rate of global digital transformation marks this as an important time for OLCDC to expand its professional skills development programs. Black and African American communities have felt the impacts of this pandemic disproportionately, and OLCDC aims to work with the communities it serves to ensure an equitable economic recovery.
For more information about OLCDC’s Fresh Start or Tech Futures Initiative classes, visit www.olcdc.org/techfutures.