ITKAN, a professional organization affiliated with the Illinois Technology Foundation, whose mission is to develop passionate IT professionals with disabilities, is partnering withMicrosoft’s Technology & Civic Engagement team in Chicago, as well as Directions – a nationwide leader in IT, business and enterprise training solutions and one of only 12 Microsoft Gold Managed Learning partners – to train and secure professional positions for a class of (6) ITKAN members. The training will be focused on the high-demand SQL Server/BI curriculum and certification. The group plans to pilot this training and replicate it, along with other WIOA/corporate-funded curricula in high-demand areas to strengthen the marketability and opportunities for this often overlooked and underrepresented segment of the labor force.
ITKAN was launched in 2008 by SPR Consulting, a professional IT services company, to support the growth of candidates and professionals with disabilities into the tech field. They conduct monthly meetings at the Microsoft Technology Center Chicago with an emphasis on fostering deeper knowledge and greater passion for the opportunities in information technology. Microsoft hosts the group and provides experts for many of the monthly meetings.
Adam Hecktman, Microsoft Chicago’s Director of Technology & Civic Innovation and Shelley Stern, Microsoft Chicago’s Director of Civic Engagement, have been staunch supporters of ITKAN. With the support of Microsoft’s Technology & Civic Engagement General Manager Annmarie Levins and WIOA student funding, the group is planning to conduct the training in Directions’ Oak Brook and Chicago facilities by the end of 2016. They will also work to identify corporate partners who are willing to hire these newly-minted SQL Server/BI professionals into their organizations through either paid internships or intern-to-hire opportunities.If you are a candidate with a disability and would like to be considered for this training opportunity, please contact your county WIOA office and register for the many support services – including training funding – that they may be able to provide to you.
The team will be reviewing candidates for the class and WIOA funding is one of the core considerations, though all candidates with disabilities are welcome to apply. For assistance with the WIOA funding process, please contact Kim Manzuk at firstname.lastname@example.org. Microsoft’s funding will be utilized after all WIOA funding has been exhausted. If you are an employer interested in hiring one of these candidates, please contact Pat Maher at email@example.com or 630-220-8895.
AbilityLinks is pleased to have ITKAN as a member and regularly refer professionals with IT background to the organization for networking and training, said Ken Skord, AbilityLinks program Director.