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Learn about free Google IT training Oct 20 in DuPont

Google and USO bring IT Support Professional Certificate program to servicemembers

Transitioning servicemembers learning IT support skills in the new Google IT Support Professional Certificate program, which opens to servicemembers at JBLM Oct. 1. Photo courtesy of Google

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Transitioning servicemembers be on the lookout. Google and United Services Organization (USO) are partnering to bring IT training to transitioning servicemembers, veterans and military spouses, which you can learn more about at the free Military Dream BIG Fair Oct 20 in DuPont - RSVP HERE TO ATTEND.

"Certificate participants can do everything online," said Cadandra Kristoff, a spokeswoman for the Google Veterans Initiative and an internal communications manager for hardware at Google. "They can complete all the necessary coursework to get an IT certificate that will help them transition into an entry-level IT role. IT is a very fast-growing industry."

The Google IT Support Professional Certificate program is being added to USO programming thanks to a $2.5 million grant from Google to USO. The certificate program -- which consists of eight months of distance learning -- is designed to give transitioning servicemembers, military spouses and veterans the experience they need to obtain entry-level position in the competitive and ever-growing IT industry.

"It's really valuable to include military spouses, who're also serving their country alongside servicemembers," said Kristoff. "Spouses hold down the fort while their partners are on the move and it's often hard for them to hold a stable job because of that. So, I think it's important and valuable to offer spouses a chance to go through the certificate, as well."

After completing the certificate program, graduates will have the opportunity to share their information with over 20 employers seeking IT professionals. Google, TEKSystems, GE Digital, Hulu, Intel, Bank of America, Veterans United Home Loans and Sprint are among those employers.

"It's great that (servicemembers) can potentially complete (the training) during their final tour or while on deployment," said Kristoff, who has been working at Google for five months now. "Then, as they're transitioning, they'll at least have a starting point in the IT industry."

Kristoff is also a Navy veteran who served from 2008-2013 as a surface warfare officer.

"After I transitioned out of the Navy, I was a stay-at-home mom for two years while I finished my MBA," said Kristoff. "When I wanted to get back into the workforce, I was really overwhelmed. I remember stepping back into the civilian world and thinking, ‘I was a surface warfare officer on a ship ... what am I going to do with that now?'

"This (certificate program) is a great way for someone who's still unsure about what they want to do to transition into an industry that's secure and growing."

Although the certificate program isn't new -- Google previously incorporated it into the larger "Grow with Google" initiative that works to increase economic opportunities in the U.S. -- it's integration with USO marks the beginning of a partnership between the two organizations. The integration of the certificate program is one of three initiatives Google is implementing that are geared towards veterans.

The other two are (1) the addition of a new Google search function that allows servicemembers to enter "jobs for veterans," followed by their military occupational specialty code (MOS), to learn which civilian job positions are relevant to their military experience; and (2) a "veteran-led" attribute on Google Maps that shows users which business listings are veteran-owned.

"Looking at typical job boards or doing job searches was overwhelming for me when I transitioned," said Kristoff. "So, it's great that this job search function allows servicemembers to put in their MOS code and to get (information about) a wide variety of job positions they wouldn't otherwise know are options for them ... They'll be better able to tailor their resumés for those specific positions."

"A lot of these initiatives are centered around helping transitioning servicemembers build a foundation for themselves." 

For more information, attend the free Military Dream BIG Fair in DuPont Oct 20 from 9 am to 12:30 pm.  RSVP to get in HERE.

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