Local agency offers free program to help jump start careers in tech

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Posted at 7:39 AM, Jun 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-21 11:51:00-04

CINCINNATI — Many people needed to pick up additional skills during the pandemic to make ends meet. Now, the Community Action Agency is offering a free tech program to help workers get ahead.

Shawnte Hodge is with the Community Action Agency, and she leads the Tech Works program. She said this program can help people for years to come.

"I feel like, with this program, we have the opportunity to truly transform a generation," Hodge said.

Montez Watson was one person who went through the program. He was working for TQL from home during the pandemic, and he wanted to continue his education in information technology.

"So I felt like getting certifications was that next step in the right direction of, you know... growing in my career," Watson said.

However, certificates usually come with price tags up to $3,000, and Watson and his family couldn't afford that. Then, he found the Community Action Agency's free tech workers program.

"It was probably the best opportunity for me to try and find a solution that was cost-efficient for us at the time," Watson said.

After he received his certificate from the program, Watson started working with the agency to lead classes within the program.

"Montez is a testament as to how Community Action Agency can help you to gain a skill set," Hodge said. "And then that skill set can take you from point A to point Z."

"I don't have a teacher's license, but I'm mentoring, coaching other adults to get the same certification that I just got," Watson said. "I just want to kind of give back and be helpful to them."