$5.6M grant to help local college bring more diversity into technical field

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“We’ve opened a lot of people’s eyes to the fact that there is this capability out there and there is this possibility for an entirely new career for them,” said Alton Henley, Director of Information Technology Institute.

Numerous grants from the Department of Labor have expanded Montgomery College’s job training programs, transitioning graduates of nearly any major to IT, in a matter of weeks.

“Over the eight week period, they do probably about 200 different assignments or more,” said David Wolf, Instructor at Montgomery College.

Many Montgomery College alumni move onto becoming software developers for a Infosys, a technical consulting firm.

“I have skills that are in high demand in the marketplace, and I got those in a relatively short period of time,” said Samuel Mazur, software developer.

Mazur worked on things like mock-Twitter and Yelp websites in his training at Montgomery College.

“It was really cool getting to see how those things might have started out,” said Brian Rooney, software developer.

The announcement of a $5.6M grant this month will continue bringing diversity into technical careers.

“We haven’t had any [grants] that allow us to top-off someone’s skills, take someone who’s ready to be hired, who’s just graduated, or about to graduate, and top-off their skills,” said Henley.

As part of President Obama’s plan to make two years of community college free, a new program at Montgomery College will start in 2017 to transition students with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree into top-level technical jobs.

Simeon Kakpovi will be teaching one of the new courses next summer.

“My biggest hope for the grant is at a time where so many students are going so far into debt trying to get a college degree, that they realize that not only can they start their college career at Montgomery College but we can help you when you’re ready to finish your college career and get you ready for the workforce,” said Henley.

Montgomery College is partnering with WorkSource Montgomery to determine the specific skills technical companies need the most.

The organization will then connect students with employers.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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