Enterprise Center Provides IT Skills Training to Chattanoogans

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — “When these students finish in this nine weeks, they’re going to be cream of the crop,” said Charlotte Brand, Economic Mobility Program Coordinator for the Enterprise Center.

This morning, the enterprise center kicked off the second cohort in its EMPACT IT skills training program.

The nine week program will award graduates with a Google IT certification, which can be difficult to attain independently.

“A lot of those classes are really hard to get completed. Very many people start; very few people continue, so our goal with this program is to remove all those barriers,” said Deb Socia, Enterprise Center President/CEO.

Graduates will also receive college credit transferable to Chatt State.

“You’ll get twelve credits that you can carry over and further your degree,” said Brand.

The program offers people an opportunity to obtain a livable wage job.

“It’s a good opportunity to really provide for my family,” said Tai Norman, an EMPACT participant.

The program is being funded by CARES grant money that was awarded to the office of family empowerment, intended to assist families that had been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

“That funding is through December 31 of this year, so that’s when that allocation expires. We are exploring other avenues for funding into the future,” said Rachel Howard, Director of the Office of Family Empowerment.

According to the Enterprise Center, 3 of members of the last cohort have already obtained jobs.

“We hired one at the city, who actually ran our city council meeting last week,” said Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly.

Participants receive a $4,500 dollar stipend for expenses such as childcare while in the program.

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