Calgary IT sector benefits from Momentum training program
CALGARY -- A six month training program created by Momentum is helping unemployed Calgarians land jobs in the city's burgeoning tech sector.
The six month course is called Tech Plus. So far 1,000 people have applied for 75 spots since it was launched in 2019. 75 per cent of graduates have jobs in the industry according to Jeff Loomis, Momentum's executive director.
"The tech sector is growing in Calgary," said Loomis. "Our program is building the skills so that people that are struggling with employment are able to get a job in the tech sector."
The course is funded by the provincial government and free to the students.
"So big benefit for them is no cost, (while the) huge benefit for us as a community is we're moving people from unemployment or underemployment into a good career-orientated job which has a huge social and economic impact," said Loomis.
Andres Salas just graduated from the most recent Tech Plus course. He's 45 years old and has lived in Calgary for nine years after moving to Canada from Colombia. He was trained as an electronic engineer but worked in sales here until his company closed its local office during the pandemic.
That's when Salas discovered the Tech Plus course.
"The program, it's really well designed to provide people like me with no IT or technical experience and knowledge," said Salas. "So the program provides you with a really good foundations, so that you can perform these kinds of jobs."
Salas says the six month program is intense but he got a job offer four weeks before graduation.
"It happened really fast, there's interviews," said Salas. "I had three interviews and then got the job and I was like, honestly I didn't even feel happy, I was like really?"
Salas is now working for Long View Systems on its global service desk as a systems consultant.
"During this time technology talent is really hard to find," said Tasha Westerman, Long View Systems executive vice president of people services. "Momentum has done a great job of putting together a program that helps people retool into technology and get some great work experience before they come and get a full-time job."
Long View helped design the training program that is on track with the ever changing technology sector.
"They're continuing to grow into other areas and really pivot quickly depending on what the technology sector needs which is great so I see a long term relationship with Long View and Momentum," said Westerman.
Learn more about Momentum and its training programs here: www.momentum.org