Earlier this week, Byte Back classes started just as they have hundreds of times before over the 20 years the organization has offered tech training and career services classes in Washington, DC. Except one class was a little different: it wasn’t in DC.
This fall, Byte Back and the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation officially launched the Education Partnership for IT Careers, or EPIC, a program that will expand Byte Back’s certification training course into Prince George’s County, Maryland. The program is supported by numerous foundation sponsorships, including the Greater Washington Community Foundation. “The problems that we work on don’t care about county lines,” said Byte Back Executive Director Elizabeth Lindsey. “It’s our goal to meet people where they are, both in their skill level and in their neighborhood. If communities who need our services are moving out of DC in search of more affordable housing, we still want to meet them where they are.”
Now, in addition to classes at Byte Back headquarters and locations throughout the District, select Byte Back classes will also be taught at the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation in Upper Marlboro, MD. The inaugural classes, which began Oct. 23, will prepare students for the CompTIA A+ certification exam, an industry-recognized standard for IT careers. Additionally, EPIC Program classes will be the first to include new soft skills curriculum which will culminate in an HDI Desktop Support Technician certification.
Although EPIC is currently only one class at each location, there are plans to increase the course offerings and number of classes in Prince George’s County to meet demand. “We want all of our students, regardless of whether they are DC or Maryland residents, to get the training they need to obtain living-wage careers working with technology,” said Lindsey. Info sessions and registration for the next cohort of EPIC students will begin in early 2018.