Jean Rodriguez went from a retail job at RadioShack to providing tech support for a Fortune 500 company in less than a year, a journey that all started with a promotional email. The Miami Dade College student received a message from The Idea Center touting its Generation IT certificate program during the summer of 2016. Rodriguez, who was born in Nicaragua and moved to the United States with his mother and siblings when he was 8, immediately knew he was a perfect fit for the course. “I thought it was great because I knew it could potentially get me into a better job,” said Rodriguez, who began working at RadioShack after graduating from high school in 2012. “I was always the tech guy in my family and group of friends so I knew I wanted to work in that field.” Generation IT, sponsored by the McKinsey Social Initiative, is an intensive 15-week program that trains unemployed or underemployed young adults for entry-level jobs in information technology. Graduates receive CompTIA A+ and Network+ certificates at the end of the course. Six months after receiving that initial email, Rodriguez was offered a position in global customer support for MasterCard, where he works on commercial and digital products and mobile banking applications for financial institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean. Rodriguez earned his associate degree from MDC in 2017 and is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree in information systems technology at the College.
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