It is no secret that the information technology (IT) industry has had difficulty in recruiting diverse employees, specifically women and people of color. In an industry as forward thinking as IT, a diverse workforce is critical to success and innovation. Unfortunately, in 2018, just 26 percent of the entire industry was composed of women, according to the National Center for Women and Information Technology. And a study by the Kapor Center for Social Impact found that African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans are underrepresented in tech by 16 to 18 percent. Enter National Able Network’s IT Career Lab program!

IT Career Lab provides opportunity to those who might otherwise not have been able to enter the IT industry. In a typical IT Career Lab cohort, 28 percent of students are female, and 70 percent are people of color. The program offers a way to level the playing field for diverse populations and introduces employment opportunities that provide careers, living wages, and opportunities for advancement.

The key to students successfully completing IT Career Lab is in the program’s design. Across 10 weeks, students learn about and prepare for certification exams offered by Cisco and Microsoft. The curriculum covers the certifications at a pace that makes the material easy to understand and master. Students also receive a personal laptop, career coaching, and supportive services to help them achieve their career goals.

“IT Career Lab helps those with the potential to succeed in IT, as they quickly hone technical skills and develop professional and social networks in the local Minneapolis tech sector,” said IT Career Lab program manager Greg Shirbroun. “In addition to classroom training, IT Career Lab is excited to offer On-the-Job Training opportunities for individuals.  Learning by doing is one of the best ways for adults to improve their skills and build confidence for a difficult career change.”

If you are interested in learning more about IT Career Lab and how it can help you begin a new career, please stop by our booth at the 2019 Black Business Expo and Career Fair on July 23, 2019 or complete our job seekers contact form at