FSCJ’s I-Tech Program Provides Valuable Job Training for the Unemployed

FSCJ’s I-Tech Program Provides Valuable Job Training for the Unemployed

The College’s Information Technology Rapid Reemployment (I-Tech) program targets occupations that local companies have expressed as areas of need in the Computer Information Technology (CIT) industry in Jacksonville and across the region.

The customized training program was developed in collaboration with local and regional employers. Students in the I-Tech program receive the skills and training they need to pursue careers as web testers, developers and programmers.

In 2014, FSCJ was awarded an Information Technology grant from the U.S. Department of Labor with the purpose of providing long-time unemployed workers with the individualized counseling, training and support they need to lead to employment in IT occupations and industries. The funds will be specifically focused on helping the veteran population due to the number of long-term unemployed or underemployed veterans in the area. In addition, the grant provides for paid internships with some of Northeast Florida’s leading companies, giving students on-the-job training and valuable work experience.

Of equal importance, FSCJ works closely with local businesses to identify high-demand positions that need to be filled in order to develop specialized training modules to prepare program participants for a successful future. One condition of the grant is that the Department of Labor requires students be trained in mid- to high-skill occupations along a career pathway which will lead them to industry credentials and employment. To satisfy this requirement, students will complete background checks, aptitude and IT assessments and specialized training to ensure they are workforce ready.

In a “bootcamp” format, the students’ first three weeks are spent in introductory modules in Database, Java and .NET. For the next eight weeks, they will select their own set of training modules which will lead them to their nine-week paid internship.

For a unique, hands-on training program like this one, the conditions for admission are just as important as the curriculum itself.

“We go through a vetting process to make sure we select students who are the right fit,” Case Manager Annie Abbott explains. “They complete multiple assessments, we review their academic transcripts, industry certifications and previous work experience, including their veteran job duty requirements and have face-to-face interviews to gain a better understanding of the applicants’ goals and priorities. We want to make sure nothing will hinder their internship placement and future employment. We want to see them succeed!”

By the Numbers:

First Cohort-August 2015

  • 17 participants
  • 11 received jobs
  • Two are nearing internship completion

Second Cohort-January 2016

  • 17 participants
  • Four received jobs
  • Six have accepted internships
  • Three in the interview process

Third Cohort-February 2016

  • 20 participants
  • Two received jobs
  • One accepted internship and will begin in March
  • Others will begin internship in May