Florida Hire Ed

U.S. Department of Labor awards funding to UWF and Chipola College

[Programs will train Northwest Florida residents for high-skill jobs]

PENSACOLA, Fla. - The U.S. Department of Labor awarded funding to the University of West Florida and Chipola College to provide education, training and job placement assistance to meet the demand for high-skill workers in Northwest Florida.

The funding comes as part of the second phase of the H-1B Technical Skills Training Program through the Department of Labor, providing more than $183 million to 43 grantees. UWF is one of only six universities in the United States that received H-1B awards in this cycle. The federal grant funds originate from fees paid by employers to bring foreign workers into the United States under the H-1B program.

The project, Florida Hire Ed, allows UWF and Chipola College in Marianna, Fla., to enhance or increase the employment prospects for low-income or under-employed individuals in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Jackson, Liberty and Calhoun counties in Florida.

Certification training will include programs in information technology and healthcare. Participants will earn industry certificates that represent portable skills recognized by employers nation-wide. UWF and its regional partners will accelerate the pathway to employment for those who successfully complete the program. Graduates can compete for high-skill, high-wage jobs, which will help decrease corporate reliance on workers from other countries.

The occupations and industries in which UWF and Chipola will provide additional training and education are fields in which many employers end up hiring foreign workers on H-1B visas, due to a lack of skilled workers in the U.S. UWF and Chipola College will enhance or add training in the fields of information technology and healthcare.

Program Descriptions

Option 1: CompTIA Network+ and Security+ Professional Certification Training

The program begins with computer hardware training that focuses on the components common to all PCs in the workplace. Network+ covers network technologies, installation and configuration, media and topologies, management, and security. The Security+ module provides thorough instruction on the latest protection techniques as well as risk prevention and cyber-security methods. Candidates for this program should be proficient in Microsoft applications. Job roles for successful completers include network technician, network installer, and IT help desk technician. The CompTIA Network+ and Security+ course aligns with specific certification modules: Comp TIA Network+ (N10-005), and Security+ (SY0-401). Both required exams and the courseware are included in the training.

Option 2: UWF Microsoft Systems Administration Certification Training (MCSA)

This certification series will give an individual a strong foundation in PC/network security and network management. Participants will work towards several levels of certification and earn 12 college credits that may be applied toward a degree program. Classes are designed for those who have proven skill installing software applications and configuring devices on a network but who want to gain credentials and experience in security and network management. Advanced Windows 7 knowledge is required before entering the program.

The MCSA: Windows Server 2008 program is for professionals who implement, manage, and troubleshoot existing network and system environments based on the Microsoft Windows Server Operating System (2008). Microsoft software applications are among the most widely used applications in organizations today. The job roles for certified professionals typically include: systems administrator, network administrator, information systems administrator, network operations analyst, network technician, or technical support specialist. Certification exams covered in this class include Windows 7 (680), Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring (640), Server 2008 Network Infrastructure (642), and Server 2008 Administrator (646). Exams 680 and 640 are required for completion of the class; vouchers are provided by UWF for these two exams (680 and 640).