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Grant from AT&T supports VET program to train veterans for IT jobs

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 4:20 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A new training program is launching in the Fox Valley that will help train veterans for jobs in IT.

It’s no secret there’s a shortage of workers in the workforce, and IT is no different.

“There are just a ton of jobs, here in the valley and across the state, in cybersecurity, help desk, data analytics, you’re just seeing things across the board,” says Patrick Riley from New Horizons.

And according to the Fox Valley Veterans Council, many businesses are looking to hire veterans to fill open positions. Zach Zabel says, “People just think we have a roll call of vets to call, waiting for the employer, but that’s not the case. So, what we’re trying to do is develop those veterans into employable members of the workforce.”

With the help of a $10,000 grant from AT&T, the Fox Valley Veterans Council teamed up with New Horizons, the largest IT training company in Wisconsin, to create the new Veterans Education & Training, or VET, program.

“It was a no-brainer to get the three of us connected and the funding through the AT&T Foundation to make it happen,” adds Robyn Gruner from AT&T Wisconsin.

The VET program created individualized curriculum for veterans to train for jobs in IT. Taught virtually, the intense program teaches a semester of material in just five days. Following additional studying, VET program participants will be prepared for certification exams. “IT jobs aren’t going anywhere in a tech driven world, and the goal of the program is to make them employable,” says Zabel.

Because it’s a pilot program only a few veterans will be able to complete their training, but the hope is their successes will lead to additional funding for more vet program opportunities. Zabel adds, “The purpose of the pilot program is to prove that there’s need and prove that the format and model works. Then, once we’ve done that, we can ask for more funding and expand the program.”

The Fox Valley Veterans Council has already identified the first group to complete the program, and those vets will start their individualized programs on their own schedules.

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