Perez praises IT training for jobs

December 9, 2013

From wpr.org: “US Labor Secretary Visits Racine Technical College, Praises IT Training for Jobs” — By David Cole – U.S. Labor Department Secretary Tom Perez visited a technical college in southeastern Wisconsin yesterday, praising job training and highlighting a $23 million federal grant to Wisconsin tech schools.

Aaron Andrews is a former truck driver and current Gateway Technical College student who’s looking to better his life by launching a career in information technology. “[I’m] looking to graduate here in May, for IT network security specialist. With three more classes, I can actually have two associate degrees next year, for security analyst.”

The future is bright for students like Aaron, says Katie Gilbert of Teksystems, a firm that recruits IT professionals for other companies. She says the unemployment rate in the field is just four percent, even lower for people like Aaron: “We’re expecting to see a huge jump in demand for that particular skillset.”

Helping people like Aaron get the training they need to fill those job is the point of a $23 million federal grant that was recently received by the state’s technical colleges.

Appearing at a Gateway technology center yesterday to highlight the grant and to hear the stories of Aaron, Katie and others, was U.S. Labor Department Secretary Tom Perez. He had praise for the schools, noting that the grant, among the largest in a $2 billion federal initiative to expand training, was awarded on merit. “You have the elements of success! And it starts with partnership. It continues with having an industry-based approach.”

Officials hope the three-year grant will fund cutting edge IT training for some 3,000 workers statewide over the next several years.

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