Launch of $5 Million Ventura County Digital Upskilling Training Program
VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. – The Economic Development Collaborative (EDC), in partnership with multiple regional partners, officially launched the Ventura County Digital Upskilling Training Program—a FREE short-term training program that will increase the digital skills of job seekers, current workers and small business operators. The initiative seeks to expand the opportunities and earning power of Ventura County participants by providing them with much-needed digital skills training to help both individuals and employers in the County grow.
The training program was made possible by State Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, who developed the project idea and secured $5 million in state general funds for a Digital Upskilling pilot in Ventura County. EDC President/CEO, Bruce Stenslie explained, “What this funding delivers is not only a resource to deliver training immediately for the benefit of workers and business, but also an opportunity for investing in local partners and drawing on national best practices for assuring our capacity to remain continuously competitive in workforce skills.”
WHAT IS DIGITAL UPSKILLING
Digital upskilling is the process of teaching people how to think, act and thrive in a digital world. It involves providing employees with the opportunity to gain the tools and skills they need to adapt to a world with ever-changing technologies. Apart from teaching technical skills, such as how to use a specific device or navigate a particular software, digital upskilling also ensures that employees have the fundamental knowledge required to understand new technologies.
NEED FOR DIGITAL UPSKILLING
Basic computer skills are increasingly needed in all industries, and people without digital skills are in danger of being left further behind as digitalization continues to expand. Without digital skills, people cannot search for and apply for jobs, expand their career opportunities, earn more money or enjoy the flexibility of working remotely. Also, as technology changes, current workers need more advanced digital skills and training to stay employed and advance in their careers. Assemblymember Irwin explained the project need by stating, “In today’s rapidly changing world, the ability to use technology effectively is critical in nearly all aspects of our lives. Our success as a region depends on lifting up all workers so they can secure good paying, high quality jobs that lead to long-lasting careers.”
CLASSES NOW OPEN FOR REGISTRATION
Classes for new to tech learners, current workers and small business owners are now open for registration!
Learn more and sign up at www.digital-upskilling.edcollaborative.com
3 TRAINING COHORTS
The training program includes three different cohorts of learners whom each have different base levels of computer skills and training needs.
- New to tech learners who need basic digital skills to get a well-paying job can take a Computer Basics Class provided across Ventura County by all the Adult Schools.
- Current workers who already have some basic digital skills but need specific Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) upskilling to help them move into better-paying jobs, can earn one or multiple industry-recognized certificates/credentials in:
- CompTIA A+ Certificate or CompTIA Security+ Certificate or
- GBL Systems Corporation (GBL) AWS Credentials in Cloud Foundations, Cloud Architecting, Cybersecurity or Data Analytics.
- Small business owners who need comprehensive knowledge and tools to establish an online business presence including e-commerce, SEO and digital marketing to grow and stay competitive can enroll in Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV)’s Get Your Small Business Online course.
Check out our Computer Basics Class in action:
“For me, this class has been a miracle. An absolute miracle. […] I’m going to use the skills that I’ve learned in this class, and I’m also going to enter into interviews with a lot more positivity about what I can bring to a job. So, it’s reaching far beyond just the technical skills. It’s very much opening doors to my future that I wouldn’t otherwise have.”– Elizabeth, Computer Basics Class Graduate
The initiative seeks to develop a rapid Digital Upskilling pilot that can be replicated across California as a strategy to increase economic mobility using digital skills training. The initiative will train over 400 Ventura County residents from underrepresented communities by December of 2024 and place 200 into higher-paying jobs.
- 200 novices will learn Computer Basics.
- 100 workers will receive ICT upskilling through CompTIA or GBL.
- 100 small businesses & entrepreneurs will get their businesses online.
Regional partners include CompTIA, GBL Systems Corporation (GBL), Ventura County Adult Education Consortium (VCAEC), Ventura County Community College District (VCCCD), Ventura County Community Foundation (VCCF), Ventura County Office of Education (VCOE), Workforce Development Board of Ventura County (WDBVC) and Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV).
For more information, visit www.digital-upskilling.edcollaborative.com
For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact the EDC’s Communications & Marketing Manager, Tracie Schneider, at Tracie@edcollaborative.com.
About Economic Development Collaborative
A private nonprofit, the Economic Development Collaborative was founded in 1996 with funding from the County of Ventura, the 10 cities in the county and key private-sector companies to provide a pathway to business growth, economic prosperity and high quality of life for all.
Today, in partnership with the Small Business Development Center, the EDC is a regional asset for economic vitality in Ventura, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties, giving businesses, community partners and civic leaders the resources they need to succeed. By leveraging public and private funds, the EDC has become a key player in delivering business consulting, funding and strategic initiatives that support the region.