First lady Michelle Obama announced yesterday some good news for the IT community and for military personnel transitioning back to civilian life – a new public-private partnership to provide IT training and certification to service members.
The IT Training and Certification Partnership, launched April 29 at the White House Forum on Military Credentialing and Licensing, will allow thousands of service members to earn industry-recognized IT certifications.
In unveiling the initiative, the first lady said veterans “are eminently qualified to do the very jobs that employers across this country are desperate to fill.” However, bureaucracy, lack of coordination and outdated rules hinder those in uniform to leverage their expertise and training, and oftentimes credits and coursework completed in the military go to waste.
“And this is unfair to the men and women who have served this country so bravely,” she said. “They deserve a fair shot at a good job when they come home. “But it’s also unfair to their families who have sacrificed probably more in some instances so that these men and women can do their job. And they deserve some financial security once they return to civilian life.”
Credentialing and licensing services could provide the opportunity for up to 161,000 service members to gain the industry-recognized certifications necessary for high-demand technology professions. Certifications and licenses garnered through this program are applicable for professions such as computer programming, quality assurance engineering and IT security analysis. The technology professions targeted are expected to generate more than 1.8 million job opportunities by 2020.
The IT training partnership is part of the administration’s 2012 announcement to partner with the manufacturing sector to enable service members to attain high-demand advanced manufacturing certifications as well as the Defense Department’s Military Credentialing and Licensing Task Force.
Under the administration’s direction, DOD launched the credentialing and licensing initiative last June. The task force first identified military specialties applicable to high-demand jobs, working with civilian associations to identify gaps between military training programs and certification and licensing requirements.
The ultimate goal of the task force is to provide service members with greater access to relevant certification and licensing processes to allow for an easier transition to civilian life. The IT training partnership is the second major initiative undertaken by the Military Credentialing and Licensing Task Force since its inception.
The Obama administration also plans to launch a Health and Human Services grant program that will help veterans with healthcare experience to earn a nursing license and pursue nursing careers.