Upskilling Veterans And Youth To Build A Tech Talent Pipeline




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Ivan Alvarado enlisted in the Marines at 18 to serve his country and help build a strong foundation for his family. After serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom, he transitioned into the civilian world where his true challenges began. After five years of service, Ivan has been open about his continued struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Ivan Alvarado, pictured with his family, now works as a Technology Support Analyst at Deloitte

Prior to NPower, he was a housekeeping aide at a VA hospital. Through NPower, Ivan was placed in an internship at Deloitte in technical support services and, within five weeks, was offered a full- time position as an associate technology support analyst making 35% more than he was prior to the program. His wife, Karen, and son Jordan have both recently graduated from the Tech Fundamentals program as well.

From left to right some of our NPower New Jersey team members: Joy Osahon, Newark Social Support Manager; Kendall Givens, Jersey City Career Placement Manager; Sara Herman, Jersey City Social Support Manager; Michael Rasmussen, NJ Program Director; Chelsea Gioffre, Alumni Engagement Specialist; Anna Perrotti, Recruitment and Admission Manager; Bea Tassot, NJ Executive Director; De’ Angelo Stowe, Newark Internship Manager; and Sereyna Wallace, NJ Placement Director.

That is the NPower effect!

NPower, a national free tech training organization, serves as the link between non-traditional job seekers and employers hiring diverse IT talent and creates an alternative fast-track to jobs for veterans and young adults from underserved communities.

In a 2017 Bloomberg report, New Jersey ranked as the 4th most innovative state in the country for its density of STEM research and development. With New Jersey’s higher than average unemployment rate for older veterans and underserved youth between 16–24, NPower New Jersey offers a unique program to serve and upskill young adults and military veterans and their spouses transitioning back into the civilian workforce. Their footprint started in Jersey City in 2015 and due to the program’s success, they expanded to Newark in September 2019.

Fall 2019 Cybersecurity Site Visit to St. Peter’s University Cyber Security Center

NPower has a proven track record of training the digital skills demanded by the marketplace, and engaging businesses and volunteers in the long-term success of their students. Their signature training model includes an introductory Tech Fundamentals course. The 23-week program consists of 16 weeks of in-class instruction and professional skill-building, followed by a seven-week paid internship.

Coursework focuses on the tech competencies needed to obtain entry-level IT employment. Students that successfully complete this course are offered a path to advanced IT certifications and credentialing. They recently launched their first cybersecurity class in Jersey City, with alumni eager to advance in their tech careers and prepare for higher wage IT jobs.

The Kyle Palmieri Foundation and the NJ Devils hosted NPower New Jersey Veteran Alumni and their families at a recent game.

NPower is committed to the success of their students and removing any barriers to gaining the skills needed for a successful career in technology. The organization provides a range of social service support (housing referrals, clothing donations, and travel assistance) to students during their tenure in the program. Their commitment to graduates is focused on job persistence and long-term career growth.

As an additional benefit to their students, NPower New Jersey was the first in the country to partner with the U.S. Department of Labor to offer IT Generalist apprenticeship credentials where students can receive paid hands-on training and apply their in-class instruction to their roles.

Nationwide, NPower has trained over 4,000 veterans and young adults, and over 400 in New Jersey to date with 80% of their graduates employed in tech or continuing their education. Graduates launch their tech careers at top companies like Accenture, JPMorgan Chase & Co., SHI International Corp., TD Ameritrade, and Verizon.


“Thanks to a solid and tight team, our work enables all our students and their families the chance to live the American dream. Veterans get a second career opportunity and support; young adults gain direction and career guidance. Our win-win solution meets the evolving tech industry’s needs by providing a diverse talent pipeline and changing the life trajectories of our students.”

Bea Tassot, NPower New Jersey Executive Director and National Liaison for Military Programs and Strategy

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