The Ripon Forum

Volume 54, No. 2

May 2020

Training Displaced Workers is Key to Getting Americans Back to Work & Stimulating the Economy

By on May 17, 2020

by CINNAMON ROGERS

Every community across the country has been impacted by COVID-19. We applaud the frontline workers, government officials and families across the country for doing their part. 

We are so proud of the amazing good works coming from our member companies (see our Tech for Good resource here) and also of how CompTIA’s training and certifications are providing American workers displaced by this pandemic with new and upgraded skills to get a great job in the IT sector. By giving people a pathway to a job in the tech sector, we are helping fill an urgent need for trained and certified professionals. More than 300,000 tech jobs were added in 2019 and the demand will only grow after this pandemic ends. 

That’s because, as we’ve witnessed throughout this crisis, trained and qualified IT professionals are vitally important to healthcare professionals, first responders, educators, students and government officials to keep us safe, secure and informed. And at a time when unemployment numbers are skyrocketing, jobs in IT are far more stable. The average U.S. unemployment rate was nearly double the unemployment rate of IT occupations last year, and we saw more than 800,000 tech job postings in emerging tech. We anticipate a greater need in the coming weeks, months and years as businesses become more reliant on technology in the aftermath of coronavirus.

CompTIA stands ready to play our part to help up-skill and re-skill displaced workers. That is why we’ve stepped up in this moment of crisis.

In addition to CompTIA’s advocacy on behalf of the IT sector, our nonprofit organization has educated and certified nearly 3 million workers in cybersecurity, networking, cloud computing and technical support since our certification program launched in 1992. It has since become the largest vendor-neutral credentialing program for technology workers in the world. Through our programs, CompTIA stands ready to play our part to help up-skill and re-skill displaced workers. That is why we’ve stepped up in this moment of crisis. The tech industry contributed nearly $1.9 trillion to our economy last year so we’re providing the tools to make it easier for Americans to get back to work and fuel economic growth.

First, CompTIA is currently offering free e-learning for CompTIA IT Fundamentals, the only pre-career certification that helps potential career changers and others determine if they have the competency for and interest in a career in information technology. Through mid-April, over 25,000 people registered. CompTIA has also created a YouTube Live Study Group for these learners.

Second, we’re helping students learn from their homes. CompTIA has partnered with Amplifire to offer free online resources to help students attending our partner schools through the end of the school year. This online exam prep tool helps students stay on track, maximize study time and prepare with confidence for their exams while schools remain closed.

Third, CompTIA is also offering other new online tools to assist displaced workers, career changers or anyone else who has ever thought about working in IT. Because in-person instruction and testing are less accessible right now, CompTIA is offering virtual pathways through remote/home testing for its exams to ensure the proper training and certification process can happen anytime, anywhere.

Lastly, to serve our members, students and lawmakers, CompTIA has created an online forum, covid19.comptia.org, that allows technology companies and professionals to share valuable information and resources on how organizations of all sizes are coping with the impact of COVID-19.

CompTIA is currently offering free e-learning for CompTIA IT Fundamentals, the only pre-career certification that helps potential career changers and others determine if they have the competency for and interest in a career in information technology.

These initiatives from CompTIA are helping future professionals get industry-leading training and career-changing certifications during these uncertain times. CompTIA has always championed building a future ready workforce and it is more important than ever that we continue providing a pathway to get people working, which is the fastest and surest way to make our economy flourish once again. Congress also has the opportunity to solve two of the most pressing issues of the day – helping tens of millions of dislocated workers and creating a next-generation workforce through smart policies and funding for workforce training that focuses on roles in cyber, emerging technologies, infrastructure deployment and other IT fields.

That’s why we strongly support the inclusion of funding for federal and state workforce development programs in the next federal relief package. While Congress has been focused on helping individuals and small businesses, and rightfully so, they must also begin taking steps to get Americans working again. By dedicating resources toward creating opportunities for displaced workers to be reskilled or upskilled, we can plan for what comes next and meet the needs of a reshaped job market that is more dependent on technology.

The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened awareness of how important technology is in keeping us connected and businesses running. Through innovation, charitable contributions and training a new generation of professionals, the tech industry is ensuring that this pandemic will end sooner, the economy can bounce back faster, and thousands of workers in need of the skills and training necessary will have a path toward new opportunities.

Cinnamon Rogers

Cinnamon Rogers is Executive Vice President of Public Advocacy at CompTIA, the leading voice for the global IT industry.

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