Goodwill Columbus Highlights IT Program

On July 15, Goodwill Columbus hosted a Careers in Technology (CiT) “IT Fiesta,” that offered an opportunity for potential Goodwill Columbus students to learn about IT micro-credential programs. Students had the opportunity to try their hand at actual projects that are part of the curriculum.

Lt. Governor Jon Husted delivered remarks at the event. He told the students, “I believe that you are having an amazing door to your future opened if you decide to take it. The economy is changing dramatically – it’s tech-infused.”

Goodwill Columbus President and CEO Margie Pizzuti said, “We’re strategically focused on developing skills in those employment sectors like IT that provide the opportunity to earn a living wage and a pathway to economic mobility. It’s imperative that every job seeker has the digital skills necessary to secure and retain employment.”

The event also included a tour of Goodwill’s Battelle Career and Education Center; an overview of “Career Bootcamp,” a workforce preparation program; details on certifications and credentials and how they positively impact students’ employment options and information on how Goodwill helps job seekers join the pipeline to employment. Students at four hands-on stations provided demonstrations of changing out RAM and hard disks, emergent technologies including a 3D printer, programming and scripting, and cybersecurity.

Goodwill offers day and night IT classes. CompTIA A+ is an essential foundation credential for a career in IT. The A+ certification is recognized and used worldwide by companies such as Dell, Canon, and the U.S. Department of Defense. CompTIA IT certifications are stackable building blocks for additional IT certifications.

In the CompTIA A+ class, students learn about the hardware and operating systems of phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, and servers in a classroom setting. Upon completion of the class, Goodwill covers the cost of the certification test, thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

During the program, students are introduced to potential employers. Those who obtain and maintain employment for six months after course completion are eligible to take advanced IT classes from Goodwill.

Danavan McIntosh completed the program and an internship at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. In March, he was hired to work in the hospital’s Information Services department. He said, “This has done so much good in my life.”

OOD Director Kevin Miller applauded the efforts of Goodwill Columbus, which partners with OOD to provide workforce services to 150- 200 individuals with disabilities each year. In addition to IT, Goodwill offers career paths in healthcare, hospitality, lodging, and retail. Director Miller said, “Goodwill Columbus has stayed on the cutting edge to ensure they are helping individuals prepare for today’s workforce.”