Partners in Bridging the Digital Divide
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GSEC made an ideal partner for GSUL . It was responsible for managing the program ’ s funding , securing professional training providers Merit America and General Assembly , and assisting with post-program job placement . “ Cassandra Jennings is an exceptional leader and GSUL brought community credibility to this program ,” says Barry Broome , president and CEO of GSEC . “ People in this community know they can count on Cassandra and though we could design a program , get the money , train and place people , we couldn ’ t have pulled off this program ’ s intent of serving the communities most in need without GSUL .” Digital Upskill Sacramento had a 93 % graduation rate and so far , 69 % of graduates have landed jobs . Two have even already been promoted . “ These are people who had been on the brink of homelessness and are now earning up to $ 85,000 a year ,” notes Broome .
As a longtime link to workforce development training , GSUL spearheaded the outreach to find participants for Digital Upskill Sacramento and subsequently helped identify the 40 participants from more than 4,000 applicants . The organization also assisted graduates with job preparedness training to help ensure success at job interviews .
GSUL offers training programs in sectors such as healthcare , business development and advanced manufacturing , as well as other IT training programs . GSUL hopes to use Digital Upskill Sacramento as a successful model and is currently looking into the next round of funding to replicate the program .
“ We ’ d like to create a program similar to Digital Upskill Sacramento that could accommodate 1,000 participants a year ,” Broome says . “ There is no shortage of money in government , but too much is wasted . The most effective programs expect high performance from participants and offer them high-wage positions upon completion ... This program showed that if real skills are offered to the underserved , they will succeed .”
With an eye on the big picture , Jennings concludes , “ Our partnership with GSEC legitimizes how we can identify talent that suffers from lack of access and prioritize that talent to benefit individuals and the community . When we offer resources to underserved communities , they perform and succeed , benefiting our whole region . Digital Upskill Sacramento has been a great example of the success that comes from intentionally investing in and including those communities .”
“ When we offer resources to underserved communities , they perform and succeed , benefiting our whole region .”
— Cassandra Jennings President & CEO
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