AUSTIN, Texas—EnterTech, a program of the E-Learning and Training Labs at the IC2 Institute at The University of Texas at Austin, has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Microsoft Community Affairs Giving Program to enable underemployed young people in Texas to take a Web-based workforce training course and gain skills needed to obtain and sustain employment.
The EnterTech program, which received the eTexas Commission’s Best Practice Recognition Award, simulates realistic life experiences and “on-the-job” training skills within a workplace setting. The 45-hour instructor-led curriculum consists of computer simulations and group activities and accommodates a large learner population with vastly diverse experiences and learning styles. The program provides employability skills to transition-ready welfare and public assistance recipients, teen parents, at-risk youth, juvenile and adult offenders, dislocated workers, incumbent workers and unemployed or underemployed workers.
“The United States is experiencing a shortage of skilled workers for a number of critical industries. For the world’s economy to grow, we must maintain a highly skilled workforce,” said Dr. Alexander Cavalli, ELT Labs co-director. “The skills learned through the program will empower the youths to begin their working lives with the skills necessary for them to succeed in the workplace.”
The grant will be used to broaden the availability of the program to disadvantaged youths throughout Texas. In partnership with several at-risk youth service providers, including Austin Area Urban League, Huston-Tillotson College, The Phoenix Project, River City Youth and Family Builders and Texas Fragile Families Initiative, EnterTech aims to serve 250 young people by December 2002.
EnterTech will benefit these youths by
- providing them with essential life skills, employability skills and exposing them to technology manufacturing careers,
- establishing the correlation between educational attainment and skills development to job success, equipping each student with personal planning tools and an individualized skills transcript.
EnterTech classes are offered in computer labs at community colleges, community-based organizations, high schools and workforce centers.
For further information contact: Olivia Schmidt, Christian-Hubble Media and Communications (512) 494-2865 or Robert D. Meckel, Office of Public Affairs (512) 475-7847.