Expanding Access To In-Demand IT Career Pathways

Leveraging employer-driven credentials to support
on-ramps to IT careers.

It’s been nearly two years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn it caused, and recovery across the United States is uneven. Millions of workers who lost jobs during the pandemic—primarily men and women of color from low-income backgrounds—now must reinvent themselves and build the in-demand skills required for today’s jobs.

While many industries were hit hard by the pandemic, employment in IT occupations has remained stable and is expected to grow 11 percent nationwide from 2019 to 2029, adding 4.4. million jobs through 2030. A significant portion of the new jobs will be in IT support, collection and storage of big data, user experience, and information security.

Jobs for the Future’s Rapid IT Training & Employment Initiative can provide the training they need.

RITEI Overview

The purpose of the Rapid IT Training & Employment Initiative (RITEI), which is supported by an H-1B One Workforce grant and led by Jobs for the Future (JFF) in partnership with the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB), the AFL-CIO Working for America Institute, CompTIA, and five leading organizations (Metro Community College, JEVS Human Services, the Colorado Community College System, Redemption Bridge, and TechSF), is to connect unemployed and underemployed workers to jobs in IT and to provide incumbent workers with the training they need to move on to positions that require more advanced skills.

RITEI will train individuals whose employment status, when determined eligible for the program, is unemployed, underemployed, or incumbent worker. Over the span of the four-year grant, RITEI sites will train people for the in-demand CompTIA A+ Certification using the innovative, online CompTIA Tech Career Academy Mentored Learning 2.0 platform, or one of the five Google IT Professional Certificates, supplemented by rigorous, paid work-based learning (WBL).

JFF’s Role

The JFF team brings together a range of public and private partners at the national and local levels. As a national nonprofit that works as an intermediary with extensive experience supporting the IT sector, JFF serves as the grant lead and is providing program management, coordination across sites and partners, technical assistance and coaching, subject matter expertise, and research to understand the effectiveness of the RITEI model and make recommendations for future scaling.

We will train underemployed and unemployed workers who are 17 and older for high-demand, middle- and high-skill IT roles in Denver, Omaha, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Dallas.

Key metrics* include: 



Education/Training Completed by




Incumbent Workers Participants Complete Training and Advance

At least


of participants enrolled in WBL

Employment in IT occupations has remained stable throughout the current recession, with unemployment for Computer and Mathematical Occupations at 2% nationwide, as compared to 6.5% across all occupations.

Overall, IT occupations are projected to grow 11% nationwide from 2019 to 2029[1] and add a total of 4.4 million jobs through 2030[1], with a significant portion of those jobs in cloud computing, the collection and storage of big data, and information security.

IT jobs are found across all sectors. Burning Glass Technologies and Oracle Academies recently found that 90% of all IT job openings are within non-tech industries, and that recent growth in job openings for IT occupations has been most concentrated outside of the technology sector.

According to LMI research that JFF conducted in the Fall of 2021, IT roles are in high demand and offer strong earnings.

For example:

Computer User Support Specialists (median annual wage: $50,210) and Computer Network Support Specialists (median wage: $63,460).[1] These jobs are expected to grow 12% nationwide through 2030, with significantly higher levels of growth in several RITEI sites.

Based on local demand, the JFF team will also address talent needs in several higher-wage occupations, including IT Project Manager (median wage: $90,270), Data Analyst (median wage: $90,270), and UX Designer (median wage: $73,760).



RITEI Approach and Career Pathways


Meet Our National Partners

AFL-CIO Working for American Institute

The AFL-CIO Working for America Institute (WAI) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) national workforce intermediary organization that assists unions, employers, workforce intermediary partnerships, the workforce system, and community organizations by advocating for and providing employment and training related services that help to create, expand and retain high quality jobs.

The WAI works with AFL-CIO institutions (more than 600 state labor federations, local labor councils, and the Industrial Union Council) and unions, employers, workforce boards, and apprenticeship officials to increase the effectiveness of economic development and workforce systems.

Through the AFL-CIO’s federated structure, RITEI will work with the central labor councils and unions and employers in the five cities to identify training needs and support placement of trainees.​


The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is a leading voice and advocate for the $5 trillion global information technology ecosystem; and the estimated 75 million industry and tech professionals who design, implement, manage, and safeguard the technology that powers the world’s economy.

Through education, training, certifications, philanthropy and market research, CompTIA promotes industry growth; the development of a highly-skilled workforce and a commitment to creating an environment where innovation happens, and the opportunities and benefits made possible through technology are available to all.

Over the four years of the initiative, 1,7000 learners will utilize the CompTIA Tech Career Academy Mentored Learning Program training towards the CompTIA A+ certification. Learners will also be provided with vouchers to take the CompTIA A+ exam, resulting in an industry-leading certification.

National Association of Workforce Boards

The National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) represents approximately 550 Workforce Development Boards and their 12,000+ business members that coordinate and leverage workforce strategies with education and economic development stakeholders within their local communities, to ensure that state and local workforce development and job training programs meet the needs of employers. These investments in workforce development create a comprehensive system to provide America with a highly skilled workforce that competes in the global economy.

The NAWB team brings a depth of workforce development experience, project management, strong communication/coordination skills, and technical assistance experience. NAWB has contributed their expertise to several federal grants including H-1B America’s Promise, Apprenticeship Expansion and Modernization Fund, Scaling Apprenticeships Technical Assistance, SNAP E&T National Partnership Grants, and Expanding Community College Apprenticeships​.

Working in partnership with JFF and the RITEI local sites, NAWB will identify strategies to support sites and their local WDBs in the areas of employer engagement, partnership, sustainability, data collection and performance measures, opportunity youth, two-generation strategies, and coordination with federal and state programs to advance low-income and low-skilled populations.  


Meet our Sites

Partners serving as site leads will work with other local partners to identify, refer, and assess candidates for the CompTIA or Google training program, offer case management and supportive services, cultivate paid WBL experiences, engage local employers, provide job placement supports, and track data.

In San Francisco, the site lead TechSF is a local economic development agency. CBOs JEVS and Redemption Bridge will lead partnerships in Philadelphia and South Dallas, respectively; and educational institutions Metropolitan Community College and the Colorado Community College System will lead partnerships in Omaha and Colorado. The local workforce board, as well as one or more businesses/trade associations, will also participate in each site’s local partnership.

The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) is made of up 13 unique colleges with over 35 locations across the state, educating over 125,000 students every year.

To learn more: https://www.cccs.edu/

Apply to the CCCS RITEI Program


Operating with an annual budget of nearly $100 million, JEVS Human Services has 1,000 employees and two dozen successful programs providing skills development, job readiness and career services, vocational rehabilitation, recovery services, adult and residential day services, and in-home personal assistance.

To learn more: https://www.jevshumanservices.org/

Apply to the JEVS RITEI Program


Metropolitan Community College is a comprehensive, full-service public community college supported by the taxpayers of Dodge, Douglas, Sarpy and Washington counties. Its purpose is to provide high quality educational programs and services, primarily in career preparation and general education, to people of all ages and educational backgrounds.

To learn more: https://www.mccneb.edu/

Apply to the MCC RITEI Program


Redemption Bridge is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit intermediary, governed by a board of directors, primarily comprised of business, educational, and civic leaders. The primary focus of Redemption Bridge is to develop formal, long term collaborative models that change the way our organizational stakeholders do business, thereby improving their efforts to serve the three populations designated in the current 8-year strategic plan for the Texas workforce system.

To learn more: https://www.redemptionbridge.org/

Apply to the Redemption Bridge RITEI Program

TechSF provides education, training, and employment assistance to both jobseekers and employers in San Francisco’s thriving Tech Sector.

To learn more: https://oewd.org/tech-sf

Apply to the MCC RITEI Program

External Resources

Check back for more information/Coming soon!



Learn more about JFF's work supporting the Google Career Certificates

Read More

View the original RITEI press release