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CompTIA Expands Training Program

Effort helps veterans, disabled, and at-risk youth break into tech careers.

The Computer Technology Industry Association is ready to expand a tiny IT training program it started 18 months ago. The Creating Futures program, aimed at veterans, disadvantaged youth, and disabled and unemployed people, so far has trained 13 returning veterans in Jacksonville, Fla., four at-risk youths in Cleveland, and eight unemployed workers in Ireland.

Future IT pros in training

Future IT pros in training
Now CompTIA wants to attract more people to the program by enlisting the help of local and state labor bureaus, says Susan Underhill, co-chair of the Creating Futures board and a Hewlett-Packard VP.

Aaron Sanchez, a Navy officer with a bachelor's degree in computer science and a tech-related master's degree, has more tech experience than most Creating Futures participants. He returned from deployment on a Naval ship in the Persian Gulf several months ago and will leave active duty in December. He's taken a two-week training program in hardware and operation systems from education company New Horizons, a Creating Futures partner, and will soon take a CompTIA certifica- tion test.

The program is offered free to qualifying candidates, including people who've lost jobs in other industries or who've suffered through disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. Creating Futures' goal, Underhill says, is to help participants while also anticipating an impending tech-worker shortage as fewer young people enter the field and millions of baby boom-ers retire.

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