Free training can help veterans land IT jobs

U.S. Military veterans attend data analytics software training Sept. 12 at Halcyon Solutions Inc. in Dublin. The training was part of a collaboration between Halcyon and IBM.

Groveport resident Gail Goldman got a high-five from IBM Senior Consultant Gary Whitehead when she told him and six fellow U.S. Military veterans she had recently retired from the U.S. Department of Defense.

Goldman told her data analytics classmates she had pursued a degree in project management after her retirement. “Unfortunately, I’ve never used it,” she said, adding she hopes the data analytics class will help her pursue a career in information technology.

Goldman and other central Ohio veterans Sept. 12 were attending the first class in a weeklong course on data analytics software delivered by IBM at Halycon Solutions Inc. in Dublin.

The training is part of a nationwide initiative launched by IBM and Corporate America Supports You, a non-profit organization assisting veterans with employment. More than 400 veterans throughout the U.S. are slated to participate in the program this year.

While Halcyon has provided veteran training since the business launched its Veterans Workforce Development Program in 2011, this is the first time it has partnered with IBM, said Halcyon President Sanjay Dudaney.
Dudaney said Halcyon is looking to partner with other technology companies to provide more training for veterans.

Training was provided free for veterans and costs were covered by Halcyon and IBM, Dudaney said. Veterans develop many valuable skills from the military, but lack the core skills necessary for landing technology jobs, Dudaney said.

“In my mind, those are the easiest skills to learn,” he said. “They already have the harder skills.”

Training people locally can also help stem the flow of tech jobs to other countries, Dudaney said. Sometimes employers will hesitate to give veterans job opportunities, Dudaney said, and might have limitations in the number of new employees they can hire. He recommends employers offer temporary or contract positions, something Halycon practices to give veterans six months to a year of experience.

“Their marketability goes up tremendously after that,” Dudaney said. Dana McDaniel, Dublin City Manager and a brigadier general with the Ohio Army National Guard, told veterans attending class at Halcyon their military training gives them a unique skillset including loyalty, work ethic and discipline. He said Ohio is becoming more recognized for its IT industry. “I think you’re at the right place at the right time gaining additional skills to really ride that wave,” he said.

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