Members of the current IT Pre-Apprenticeship cohort, left to right: Ronnell, Gabe, Jarred, Syed and D’Ontaye.

“Phenomenal.” “Exceptional.”  “Unqualified success.” The superlatives come easily to Barbara Parker, program administrator of the JEVS IT Pre-Apprenticeship program. The reason? “Every student finishing the current class has earned an industry recognized credential, a first for the program.”

The IT Pre-Apprenticeship program is a free 21-week training program for young adults ages 18-24 in the city of Philadelphia who are interested in the world of IT and office technology.   Participants can expect to gain skills in PC troubleshooting & repair, installing & configuring Windows operating systems, supporting small networks, and office technology basics such as emailing, word processing, and data entry.

They can also attain credentials, such as CompTIA certification and, starting with the next cohort in July, certification as a Microsoft Office Specialist.

“We wanted to expand what was available,” said Parker. “CompTIA may not be for everyone. Students are assessed on their aptitude and interest for what they want to do.  For some their trajectory might be toward the CompTIA credentials, which would allow them to be an IT help desk person, for example. Others may choose to get certified in Microsoft Office, which would enable them to work in a more administrative capacity. And of course they have the option to do both if they like.”

Students learn computer technology inside and out. Left to right: Gabe R., Ronnell G., and instructor Brian Warren with 2020 IT Pre-Apprenticeship graduate Charlotte G.

The students of the current cohort particularly enjoyed exploring the inner workings of  computers to learn how they operate. “The hands on work is a lot of fun,” said Gabe. “I feel like a computer surgeon,” said Ronnell.

The students are now in the final phase of the program, which is a four week internship. That will be followed by an additional twelve months of support when students continue to work with a job developer to move on to either an apprenticeship, employment, or in at least one recent case, college.

Charlotte G. had been enrolled in a sister program of IT Pre-Apprenticeship, called Project WOW. That program allowed her to obtain her high school diploma, a requirement for IT Pre-Apprenticeship. She graduated from both programs in 2020, and is now in her 12 month follow-up period where she has been receiving assistance applying to college. She is set to start at Rowan University this fall, as a criminal justice major.

“I want to be an advocate for young people,” said Charlotte.

The next IT Pre-Apprenticeship cohort starts July 12. Apply now!


Posted in Blog JEVS Program: IT Pre-Apprenticeship