Over the past few months, LIFE Tech has been invited by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to join their Rural Digital Equity Network (RDEN). This group of rural partners have committed to creating digital equity throughout their communities. With a focus in creating sustainable impact, participating in peer learning opportunities, and building long-term capacity, RDEN helps to amplify the voices of its members and communicate essential policy frameworks.
There are over twenty (20) rural community-based organizations who are members of this network. Through collaboration, teamwork, information sharing, and being unified by a common goal, we will scale our impact across the most vulnreable rural communities in the United States. We're excited to be a part of this network and we're looking to increasing our capacity to meet the IT needs of our community!
As the impact of COVID-19 on our operations wanes, we are moving forward full steam ahead! Over 30 apprentices have graduated our apprenticeship program while we have another 13 who are currently enrolled. We will continue to seek strategic partnerships with organizations who have a like mind. Our most recent partnership is with the nonprofit organization Digitunity. This partnership will enhance our ability to train our local community with basic digital literacy skills, grow our network of computer and hardware donors, and facilitate the growth of our internal staff. We're looking forward to seeing this partnership take shape!
We also have exciting news! We are in the final stages of solifying a formal partnership with one of the largest computer refurbishers in the nation! They are based East Texas and have so much to offer to our service area. We're looking forward to seeing this partnership develop and cannot wait to share the details with you. Stay tuned!
Finally, our LIFE Tech team is gearing up for our 2nd Annual STEM Summer Camp. I've provided a flyer for your information.
Thank you again for your continued support. This project is one of the highest visibility programs within our organization.
With all of the challenges our organization faced in 2022, we were successful in solidifying ourselves as a bonafide IT Apprenticehip program in 2022. I am proud of the team we have assembled and the partnerships we have entered in. From our employment coaches, to our trainers, and our employer partners, the foundation has been established that will reap much fruit in the coming years.
Last year, we enrolled nearly thirty (30) apprentices, and graduated twenty-five (25). The overwhelming majority of our apprentices were able to find positions within the IT sector. Our graduates have earnined industry-recognized certifications such as the following:
- CompTIA ITF+
- CompTIA Network+
- Duda Web Designer
- Adobe Illustrator
Information Technology is not a pathway that has gained much traction in Rural East Texas; we hope to change that. There are many remote jobs which are available that could allow us to keep our talent local, while importing dollars that would pay livable wages
This is not a journey we can travel alone, so we appreciate your support and thank you for traveling this journey with us!
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