nPower’s Tech Fundamentals is a profiled program in the Plugging In Report.
Who is served: Military veterans and young adults from underserved communities
Number of participants served annually: 256
Location: Fort Greene and Dumbo, Brooklyn; East Harlem, Manhattan
IT (Tech Fundamentals): Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–1 p.m. or 2–6 p.m., 23 weeks Cybersecurity: Monday–Friday, 9 a.m–4 p.m., 26 weeks Cloud Computing: 12-week hybrid training (14 hours a week online; in-class instruction on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 6–8 p.m.)
Eligibility Criteria: To qualify for Tech Fundamentals, applicants must be: 18–25 years old with a high school diploma or equivalent; or an active-duty member of the armed services, military veteran, or spouse over 21. Students must be eligible to work in the United States. Advanced training in cybersecurity and cloud computing is available to qualified NPower alumni. In New York, NPower only runs a young adult cohort for Tech Fundamentals.
Application process: Online application followed by an interview assessing a candidate’s commitment to the program and interest in technology
Curriculum: IT, cybersecurity, cloud computing
Skill level: Entry-level, mid-level
Outcomes: Tech Fundamentals: CompTIA IT Fundamentals or A+ certification; Cybersecurity: CompTIA Security+ certification; Cloud Computing: AWS Cloud Practitioner or Solutions Architect certification. Job placement assistance
Partnerships: Local schools and nonprofits for recruitment of students, social support agencies who provide wraparound services for students such as professional attire and financial planning support, employers for internships and job placements. Tech partners include AWS, Symantec, and Cisco Systems.
Cost: Free, paid internship
Sources of funding: Supported by foundations and corporate partners such as Citi, Cisco, and Symantec, charge for-profit companies to bring on their interns
What makes this program stand out? NPower’s tech and professional skills program provides free training to military veterans and young adults from underserved communities. In addition to the Tech Fundamentals program, NPower offers cybersecurity and cloud computing courses in their New York City location which culminate in an opportunity to earn certifications in CompTIA Security+, and Cloud Practitioner or AWS Solutions Architect certification, respectively.The advanced training and certifications allow the student to upskill and earn stackable credentials.
Cybersecurity is a fulltime 26-week program (14 weeks of class, 12-week paid internship).
Cloud Computing is a part-time 12-week hybrid course with in-person instruction 3 times a week and bi-weekly professional mentoring. This is an advanced cloud structure course designed for graduates of NPower’s IT Fundamentals program with 2 years of professional tech experience and CompTIA A+ certification.An internship is optional in this program, but is arranged for students who express an interest.
What do participants need to succeed? There’s no testing required to participate in NPower and the program doesn’t screen applicants out based on their reading levels. Applicants are assessed through an interview process that is based on social and emotional capacity. Once enrolled, students can participate in morning or afternoon training, depending on the program.
The half-day programs allow space for students to maintain a part-time job until their paid internships begin 7 weeks before graduation. “We want people who have a desire to change the trajectory of their lives,” says Kim Mitchell, Vice President, Program Development and Operations. “To have another chance to pursue an opportunity that doesn’t cost them any money but will yield them a middle-skill, solid paying job that will address both their social and economic mobility.”
What does the organization need? The organization faces challenges associated with the costs and physical space needed to run the program.