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Creating IT Futures Foundation, EMERGE & Minneapolis Mayor’s Office Partner on Women-Only IT Career Program

Jan 20, 2016 - Edina, Minn. — The Creating IT Futures Foundation, EMERGE Community Development and Mayor Betsy Hodges and the City of Minneapolis are offering a free, women-only class of the foundation’s IT-Ready career program as part of the Minneapolis TechHire initiative.  IT-Ready trains and certifies information technology (IT) workers and helps place them into their first paid IT role. To close the workforce skills gap in the high-tech economy, the TechHire initiative enables diverse workers to access training, support and tech jobs across the Greater Minneapolis Region.


The eight-week, women-only class run by Creating IT Futures will be hosted by EMERGE Career & Technology Center on the Northside of Minneapolis and funded by the City of Minneapolis Employment and Training, The Minneapolis Foundation Community Action Funds, North Star Fund, the Paul and Mary Reyelts Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation, and the Women’s Endowment Fund, a designated fund of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation’s Jewish Community Foundation. IT-Ready is offered free of charge in order to help unemployed and under-employed individuals enter the IT field.


“The strength of Minneapolis’ future growth depends on our ability to include everyone in the economy today,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges. “There is a growing demand for tech skills in every sector of the economy, yet women hold a dramatically lower percentage of tech jobs compared to men.  Minneapolis TechHire’s first-ever, all-female cohort is proof of our commitment to help women gain access to quality jobs and to inclusive growth.”


The women-only class begins on April 11 and runs from 9:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. every weekday until June 3. Applications are due by March 25. Only Minneapolis residents are eligible for the women-only class.


“Minneapolis TechHire is an important chance to combat the inequity that surrounds us. We can make sure that the growing technology sector reflects the whole city by giving women and minorities more training and experience,” said Minneapolis Council Member Blong Yang. “The special class being offered by Creating IT Futures and EMERGE in partnership with the City will play a pivotal role in expanding opportunities for women in technology.”


“We’re pleased to partner with Creating IT Futures on IT-Ready,” said Mike Wynne, president and CEO, EMERGE. “With this new program, we’re focusing on women in the Northside of Minneapolis, helping them get the training and certifications needed for a new career in this growing sector.”


To help students with school-age children better manage class time with family time, Creating IT Futures has shortened the hours of the women-only class compared to its regular program in Edina, Minnesota. However, to demonstrate their commitment to the training and pursuing an IT career, all IT-Ready students are still only allowed one absence and two late days during the program.


“By working with Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges on the TechHire initiative, we’re tailoring our classes to employer needs and helping underserved populations be ready on day one of a new IT job,” said Sue Wallace, executive director, Minnesota, Creating IT Futures Foundation. “Since IT-Ready was established in Minneapolis / St. Paul in 2012, more than 200 individuals have graduated from IT-Ready, with 88 percent earning their CompTIA A+ certification and 88 percent of certified graduates moving into paid IT roles with area companies.”

Beyond the women-only class in Northside Minneapolis, Creating IT Futures also will hold its 2016 Spring IT-Ready class in Edina, with classes starting May 2 and open to anyone 18 years or older. Applications for the next Edina class are due April 11.


What Do IT-Ready Students Learn?

In the IT-Ready training, students get hands-on labs taking apart and building desktop computers and other hardware; learn about motherboards, printers, peripheral devices, memory and physical storage, connections and mobile devices; set up computer networks and troubleshoot networks, displays, printers, and operating systems; configure operating systems and hardware; and secure networks, systems and data.


All IT-Ready students also receive targeted professional development in key business “soft” skills such as professional communication and presentation, teamwork and collaboration, and critical thinking and problem solving. After completing training, the students sit for the CompTIA A+ certification exam which covers desktop and help-desk technical support duties and skills.


IT-Ready students in the women-only class will receive:

  • Free tuition, books and learning materials,

  • More than 200 hours of classroom and hands-on training,

  • Qualification for a local, six-month, paid, on-the-job work experience, and

  • Certification vouchers toward the CompTIA A+ exam.


To see what’s required of IT-Ready students, potential students, employers and community partners can learn more at


About the Creating IT Futures Foundation 

As the philanthropic arm of CompTIA, the Creating IT Futures Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity with the mission of helping populations under-represented in the information technology industry and individuals who are lacking in opportunity to prepare for, secure, and be successful in IT careers. Learn more at


About EMERGE Community Development

Based in North Minneapolis with a presence in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood, EMERGE helps people facing significant obstacles redefine themselves. Every year, we help thousands of adults and youth access jobs, financial coaching, supportive housing, and other key services, along pathways to brighter futures. We are committed to creating better jobs, better lives, and better communities. The EMERGE Career and Technology Center is located at 1834 Emerson Avenue North in Minneapolis. Learn more at


About Minneapolis TechHire

In response to the rapid growth in tech jobs in the Minneapolis region, the City of Minneapolis, three high-quality accelerated learning programs: PRIME Digital Academy, Creating IT Futures Foundation – IT Ready, and the Software Guild, and 60 regional employers came together with the purpose of training and placing non-traditional, diverse workers into IT careers. The innovative work of this collaborative continued to gain momentum and in March of 2015 received national recognition when the President of the United States named the Minneapolis area one of 20 TechHire regions in the nation. Today, the Minneapolis TechHire initiative continues to grow as more nonprofit partners provide wrap-around support services and over 120 employers have joined the movement.