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An unemployed veteran raising three children, a young adult in Baltimore aspiring for more, a resilient New Yorker facing difficult challenges, and a veteran struggling to take their first steps back into civilian life - they all found their way forward from poverty with NPower. NPower recognizes the overlooked talents of the individuals it serves and, with intensive training, support, and engagement, puts them on a path to economic prosperity in well-paying tech careers.

NPower is headquartered in New York but has launched tech careers for nearly 4,000 veterans and young adults from underserved communities across the country. The program, which includes free technology training, social service support, paid internships, professional development, and job placement assistance, prepares students for their first or second-chance at a career, often breaking the cycle of generational poverty for individuals, families and communities.

An Industry with Opportunity

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates businesses will need 6 million tech jobs by 2020, but there will only be 3.2 million qualified workers available. This shortage of qualified tech workers lends itself to incredible opportunities for NPower alumni to achieve economic self-sufficiency and beyond. One of the most ignored pipelines for a diverse and talented workforce are non-traditional workers coming out of training organizations that provide a fast-track to the skillsets required by the jobs open today. According to CompTIA’s Cyberstates 2019 report, the median tech occupation wage is nearly double the median national wage. NPower’s students are uniquely positioned at graduation with the skills needed to secure higher paying positions out of the gate and wage growth in the tech industry continues to climb as the demand for these skills increases.

Meet Sendy, NPower Texas Graduate:

Sendy M., a Marine Corps veteran and mother of three, had been unemployed for over a year. After being honorably discharged, she moved her family to Dallas for more opportunity and to advance her education. She learned about NPower through a Marine’s Facebook page and enrolled in the Tech Fundamentals program. Sendy graduated with her in-demand CompTIA A+ certification and quickly secured full-time employment with a Fortune 100 financial institution as an Infrastructure Senior Analyst earning an annual salary that was a 260% leap from her previous salary. She has broken the cycle of poverty for her family and has created a legacy of success within her veteran community.

Sendy (far left) sharing a photograph with fellow Tech Fundamentals graduates.

Training to Tech Careers

Technology, as a sector, is ever-evolving. Software, hardware, coding languages, tech services, and data management are constantly reconsidered for increased efficiency and security. This presents a skills democratization opportunity: to give students the digital skills needed right now. The program has embraced this speed of innovation and developed curriculum with corporate partners to train students on in-demand and cutting edge technology. Partnering with leaders in the tech space to identify not only what is relevant now but the necessary skills on the horizon, students gain an upper-hand with specialized trainings in both technical skills and professional soft skills.

Meet Lee, NPower Maryland Graduate:

Before joining the Tech Fundamentals program, Lee D. was struggling to gain financial stability. He was working a full-time job, making below minimum wage, and in desperate need to separate himself from a negative social environment. His greatest inspiration came from his young daughter, for whom he wanted to provide a better life. With NPower, Lee was able to improve his technical skills, earn an A+ certification, land an internship, and was hired full-time by On Point Help as an IT Specialist. He is now expanding his skillset and taking on more responsibility within the company while pursuing his Network+ and Security+ certifications to further increase his education and earning potential.

“I love that NPower’s program connected me to some of Baltimore’s brightest young people and mentors. I plan to pursue more certifications, build relationships with other professionals, and return to university to earn a degree in electrical engineering and computer science.”

Lee collaborating with a classmate.

Support at Every Step

NPower serves those that need us the most. Many of the students, coming from overlooked and under-resourced communities, face barriers and circumstances that are distinctively challenging and can impact their ability to persist to completion of our program. In addition to technical training, NPower’s full-time counselors and mentors provide individual support in the form of social services, professional networking and mentorship with business leaders, soft skills coaching, job placement assistance, and transit cost assistance. It is a hands-on, holistic approach to preparing our students for their careers. With each unexpected life change, we are there with resources, advice, and even financial assistance in certain situations.

Meet Daney, NPower New York Graduate:

Daney F. joined NPower in July 2018 while working full-time in retail and carefully balancing responsibilities. Her long days began in the NPower classroom were followed by demanding 12-hour shifts at work. Throughout it all, she remained dedicated to the program and still found the time to study and problem solve with classmates. Her ability to persevere through challenging and stressful circumstances is a testament to her resilience and drive. She is a shining example of the talent that exists throughout the NPower network which will continue to transform the IT industry, creating a richer and more diverse workforce. The journey may be full of twists and turns, but Daney found the motivation from within to push ahead and seize her place in tech with a salary over 3 times her previous salary.

“Finding NPower completely changed my life. I discovered I have the mental discipline to pursue something completely unknown to me. Getting my CompTIA A+ certification has shown me that hard work pays off.”

Daney speaking to fellow graduates at the NPower Tech Fundamentals Fall 2018 graduation.

A Network of Success

A community of positive support is a driving factor for future growth and success. Veterans, leaving the tight-knit organization of the military, often struggle to find their network in the civilian workforce. Young adults from underserved communities can find their journey to professional tech careers lonely in their immediate environment. NPower provides a rich alumni network that serves as a sounding board, networking group, and co-mentoring space for all graduates. The commitment to student success extends after graduation through continued focused support by offering advanced training programs in cybersecurity, cloud computing, and coding to advance careers and earning potential.

Meet Latoya, NPower New Jersey and New York Cybersecurity Graduate:

After transitioning out of the U.S. Navy, Latoya R. struggled to take her first steps in the civilian workforce. She found NPower while volunteering at a non-profit organization and joined New Jersey’s Tech Fundamentals program. NPower ignited her passion for technology. After a successful internship and job placement at a well-known financial institution, Latoya decided to advance her skills and joined the New York Cybersecurity program. As a star student in the class, she earned two in-demand industry certifications and secured a cybersecurity internship with the Federal Reserve. In just 20 months with NPower at her side, Latoya went from unemployed to making six figures as a full-time cybersecurity professional with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

“I continue to feel excited about my new career path and enjoy learning the different aspects of cybersecurity. I can say NPower has been a significant force in encouraging and inspiring my drive to succeed.”

Latoya receiving her well-earned certificate at the NPower Cybersecurity Fall 2018 graduation.

The NPower journey is challenging, rewarding, and life-changing. NPower is here to create pathways to economic prosperity by launching digital careers for those that need it the most. It is the continued commitment to their students throughout the program that underscores their successful outcomes. The multiplier effect is real and NPower graduates have an exponential impact on their communities with a remarkable return on investment.

Cost of the Tech Fundamentals program = $7,500 per student (at no cost to student)

Lifetime additional earning potential for NPower graduates = $1,000,000

The investment in these students is one of the most effective and sustainable paths out of poverty.

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Written by Katharine Riggle

Senior Marketing Manager, NPower

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