Jobs program helps train veterans for careers in the tech industry
Veterans in New Jersey can learn a new skill thanks to a program that gets them prepared for careers in technology tuition-free.
The program is known as NPower. It is a national, nonprofit organization that provides technical education to veterans, their spouses and to young people from underserved communities. It offers tuition-free training in technology basics, coding, cybersecurity and other aspects of tech.
Iraq War veteran Steven Smith is one of the people taking part in the program.
"I loved technology and being in the Air Force, being on the cutting edge of UAV technology and communications,” he says.
NPower’s program to help veterans adjust personally to careers after the service helped convince major donor JPMorgan Chase to come on board.
"There's someone there to interview all students on what their needs outside of the classroom are. How they're feeling about the transition,” says JPMorgan rep Fernando Snowden-Lorence, who is also a Marine veteran.
Veteran Ricardo Nichols enrolled in the program during a recent career transition, some 30 years after leaving the military.
"When I got out…they just gave you your papers and said, ‘Hey, thank you for your service. Have a good day.’ And then you had to go out there and figure out ‘Who am I? What am I? What do I want to do?’” Nichols says.
NPower has classrooms in Jersey City and in Newark. The program also places its graduates in paid internships to help get them started professionally. More information about the program can be found on the organization’s website.