The YW TechLab is a signature initiative of YWCA used to improve job training programs and increase access to digital skills for women, people of color, and underserved individuals including wrap-around and barrier reduction services and focusing resources on the un and under-employed, those low on the socio-economic stratum, and regions and populations most impacted by COVID-19.
Providing training and internships for women and BIPOC, who are underrepresented in the Information Technology (IT) field, increases opportunities for people to obtain jobs that have family-sustaining wages and career path growth opportunities, with multiple entry points that accommodate the very beginner through the more tech-literate individual while also meeting the labor market gap that threatens the tech industry in Illinois. The IT sector is expected to grow much faster than the average for all other occupations. Locally, there is a significant gap in the qualifications of job seekers relative to job openings and career availability.
In our region, 34,666 female residents live below the poverty line. 25,974 women are heads of household, with children in the home, but no husband/partner present. By focusing efforts on unemployed, underemployed, low-income individuals working in jobs that do not pay a living wage and those experiencing barriers, one of our overarching goals is to assist people in achieving an improved quality of life and family structure.
YW TechLab includes Front-End Web Development, Google IT, and CompTIA A+ Certifications.