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6/28/2016 - Federal grant to help launch project to train 400 people for IT careers

Good news from the June 28, 2016 edition of The Waterbury Republican-American



WATERBURY — The Department of Labor awarded a $4 million grant to the Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board in Waterbury on Monday for the purpose of developing tech talent and creating and keeping jobs in the local economy.

The board will use the money to launch a project titled ITXpress, where they will train 400 people for careers in areas such as software development, information system management and computer programming.

The board's Executive Director Catherine N. Awwad said ITXpress should kick off in the next three or four months. "We're very excited," Awwad said.

Mayor O’Leary was elated with the news.

“Congratulations to Director Awwad for bringing this grant to Waterbury,” O’Leary said. “This will bring meaningful training and employment opportunities to hundreds of Waterbury residents.”

At least 75 percent of participants will be at-risk and unemployed youth aged 17 to 29, and the remaining participants will be employees for tech firms such as Qscend Technologies who wish to receive further training and certification.

The participants will be from New Haven, Litchfield, Fairfield and Middlesex counties, and they will be recruited through a variety of outreach events.

Training will be customized to each participant and will include boot camps, internships and follow-up support to help participants secure employment in the information technology industry. Connecticut State Colleges and Universities will be among the providers of the training.

The grant was one of 39 awarded to programs across the country, totaling $150 million.

The White House cited statistics in a news release showing there are over 600,000 open IT jobs across the country, and 40 percent of IT jobs do not require a four-year degree. Each high-tech job indirectly creates five new jobs in local economies, according to economist Enrico Moretti.