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Generation USA to Offer Free Tech Bootcamps at CUNY Campuses

As part of the Verizon Skill Forward initiative, a nonprofit will offer free online training in both technical and soft skills at Kingsborough, LaGuardia and the Borough of Manhattan community colleges.

Tech training skills
The workforce development nonprofit Generation USA has teamed up with three City University of New York (CUNY) campuses to establish free technical career training bootcamp programs as part of an ongoing workforce training initiative to prepare students with in-demand tech skills, a recent announcement said.

According to a news release, Kingsborough Community College (KCC), LaGuardia Community College (LaG) and the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) will offer Generation USA’s career training bootcamp at no cost to the community. It said the online training, offered as part of the Verizon Skill Forward workforce training initiative, teaches technical and soft skills for IT-related career fields.

The news release said Generation USA talks with employers in the area to find out what roles are open as part of its training programs before creating courses that use practical, hands-on lessons in an “accelerated, online-first” format. It said staff provide coaching and support throughout the program based on each student’s individual needs and goals before helping them find full-time employment, internships, apprenticeships or continued education opportunities.

Verizon Skill Forward training programs within the CUNY system include digital marketing analyst, IT support specialist and junior web developer training, which typically run from 10 to 12 weeks, according to the news release. The launch of CUNY’s bootcamps comes as several other colleges and universities across the country establish similar training programs designed to quickly train students for tech-related jobs and as employers struggle to fill vacant roles.

“Increasing accessibility to tech education is crucial at a time when there is a growing demand for tech talent,” said Christine Zagari LoPorto, assistant dean of KCC’s Continuing Education and Workforce Development program, in a public statement. “It is important for us to work towards closing the opportunity gap in New York’s tech economy and prepare workers for careers that can be ladders to the middle class.”

CUNY officials said in the news release that the goal is to help meet employers’ growing demands for tech talent as workplaces become increasingly digitized.

“As our communities rebuild following the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, innovative programs like this to help New Yorkers eager to get back to work and provide for themselves and their families are essential,” said Sunil Gupta, LaGuardia Community College’s VP of adult and continuing education, in a public statement. “We are grateful to Generation USA and Verizon for their support, enabling these training programs to be provided tuition-free and to include wrap-around services and job-placement support. We are pleased to be the site for digital marketing analyst training — a field that builds on our leadership in professional workforce training in technology and business development. We encourage anyone interested to apply today. To qualify, only a high school diploma or GED is required.”

Anthony Watson, acting dean of the BMCC Center for Continuing Education and Workforce Development, noted that the partnership will bring much-needed technology training to the community.

“The Verizon Skill Forward programs at CUNY are cutting-edge and they offer a lot of advantages for the people we serve. I’m looking forward to the work ahead and truly appreciate the ongoing support and resources provided by Generation USA in this innovative space. Many students will benefit from this training and it will build their technical skills, which will prepare them to advance their careers,” he said in a public statement.