Technology Partnership Seeks to Increase the Number of Entry-Level IT Talent Available in Chicago

November 10, 2011 - In the wake of Mayor Emanuel’s announcement with Accenture to create positions that will attract and retain technology talent in Chicago, a local technology education company has partnered with an innovative non-profit to expand resources to motivated and talented individuals interested in IT jobs.

TrainSignal, the global leader in professional computer training, announced a partnership today with i.c.stars, a Chicago-based non-profit organization providing opportunities for inner-city young adults to harness the strength of technology for social and economic leadership.

“As a Presenting Sponsor of i.c.stars largest fundraiser, TechBash, we feel like the alignment between our two organizations is perfect as we are both are very tech heavy,” said Iman Jalali, Director of Sales and Marketing for TrainSignal. “We are devoted to offering accessible technology training to thousands of individuals at one time at the fraction of the cost of what larger institutions charge.”

i.c.stars has been operating as a collaborative project-based IT leadership development corporation for more than a decade. Interns in i.c.stars program take on a grueling 70-hour per week, four-month program that dives deep into business plans and technology solutions. Upon graduation, alumni of the program enter the workforce with one of more than 40 IT-related companies — spanning the healthcare, software, governmental and manufacturing industries.

“We leverage leadership to help participants see their role in the bigger picture, and we leverage workforce development to provide the financial, social and intellectual freedom for our graduates to be leaders in their community,” said Sandee Kastrul, President and Co-Founder of i.c.stars. “Graduates of i.c.stars innovative program get jobs that pay 201% better than their previous jobs after one year employed in the IT field.”

The synergy of TrainSignal’s and i.c.stars’ mission of educating entry-level IT talent in Chicago will be showcased live as they host an industry-wide event known as TechBash at Excalibur on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 from 6:00pm – 10:00pm. This is a must-attend event by everyone in the network as over 50 CIO’s play celebrity roles as Bartenders. Tickets are available for $250 and can be purchased at http://www.icstars.org/techbash/2011.

“It is important to be aligned with IT leaders in the Midwest,” said Jalali. “i.c.stars is the perfect organization to sponsor as they sit in a unique situation in the marketplace as CIO’s participate on the board level, employer level, client level, and attend events to raise the funds necessary to run the program.”

About TrainSignal: Founded in 2002, TrainSignal provides computer-based “Total Experience” training that gives individuals the tools and confidence to tackle real-world challenges, pass their certification exams and succeed in today’s competitive global IT market. TrainSignal offers a wide range of computer training packages covering Microsoft, Cisco, Citrix, CompTIA, VMware, and Microsoft Office. In addition to its Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2010, and Windows 7 courses, TrainSignal offers training for over fifty different training courses including VMware vSphere training, Cisco CCNA training, Citrix XenDesktop training and more. A privately-held company, TrainSignal is based in Schaumburg, IL. For more information about TrainSignal, please visit www.trainsignal.com.

About i.c.stars: Formed in 1999, i.c.stars is a nonprofit organization in Chicago for adults with a high school diploma or GED. Using project-based learning and full-immersion teaching, i.c.stars provides opportunities to develop skills in business and technology. i.c.stars places 93 percent of its qualified graduates in jobs with average annual earnings of $31, 500. Before completing the program, participants typically earn around $10,500. Learn more: http://www.icstars.org.

A Measurable Impact

Initial placement rate:
90%
Industry retention rate:
81%
College attendance rate:
55%
Alumni actively engaged in their communities:
72%
Average 12-month earnings before program:
$10,790
Average 12-month earnings after program:
$44,010