Developing Talent Through Education

This article was published in the Winter 2019 issue

by Jennifer Saunders, Ph.D., SLCC Workforce Training & Continuing Education,
The Division of Workforce & Economic Development at Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) supports economic development of Utah’s information technology industry through its training programs, serving both companies and individuals. Developing talent through education contributes to the growth of existing and start-up tech companies. SLCC also finds that IT skills are critical to growth in other industry sectors, such as manufacturing, transportation, healthcare and energy-related fields. Workforce training that is part of a career pathway, particularly the technology pathway, brings new talent into the local IT workforce. Developing highly-skilled individuals who might not have otherwise joined the IT workforce benefits Utah companies and individuals alike. Underemployed people, displaced workers, and refugees have access to career opportunities in information technology through SLCC.

SLCC Tech cohort learning
SLCC Basic Technology students

Even as a person without computer skills, Evelyn Cabrera Lopez saw that technology was the future. She entered the IT training and career pathway at SLCC with apprehension and hope. After completing a pre-basic technology training, Evelyn successfully moved through the intensive basic course series which culminated in her enrollment in the Web Development/Web Design certificate program and a promotion. Evelyn now looks forward to a career change and advancement as she continues to develop her IT skills. She is part of a student cohort, a group of adult learners who support each other in their learning. As a single parent also raising her grandchild, she is changing her own life and that of her family’s by building a career which now includes IT. Evelyn’s story is just one of many.

Asenath Horton, who uses the nickname “CC,” had several opportunities to build or help with client programs during her long-term career in marketing and public relations. Excited about those experiences, she knew she’d be building tech full-time someday. The programming skills CC learned through completing Web Development and Design certificates at SLCC have helped her realize this goal. She landed a job as a developer and uses her new skills daily. What’s more, she has become an instructor at SLCC. CC now teaches and inspires others looking to infuse their professional situations with technology skills or make career changes similar to her own.

Bringing new talent and unlikely participants into the Silicon Slopes economy benefits the businesses and working residents of Utah.

Read the rest of the articles in the Winter 2019 issue of Silicon Slopes Magazine


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