TAMPA, Florida – Employees in healthcare, information technology and manufacturing are in high demand, and soon a new apprenticeship program will help a group of disadvantaged young adults launch their resumes.
Romeo Hill, 20, has always had a knack for computers, and now he hopes to make a new career out of them through CareerSource’s new career learning program in Tampa Bay, Hillsborough County. He signed up to learn software development, and he currently splits his time with online classes and in-person work experience at a technology company in Brandon.
“I do things that I never thought I could do before,” Hill said. “It’s been a really wonderful experience at 20, and I think it’s been the most valuable part of what I’ve done with CareerSource, just getting hands-on work and that kind of networking.”
This path was not even on his radar. He said he left college during the pandemic and worked in fast food to get by.
“It was really unsatisfying. I wasn’t making all of the money I needed to pay my rent, car insurance and everything I needed. I relied heavily on my family for a lot of help, and it hurt. It weighed. heavily on me, “he said.
Hill now has the option of doubling or tripling his income. CareerSource executives said they launched the pilot program on September 1 with 41 people currently enrolled, especially for low-income young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 who want a change.
“The entry-level salary can go up to $ 40,000 and up, and in the computer industry you can certainly build it up pretty quickly,” said Don Shepherd, senior director of special projects at CareerSource of Tampa Bay.
In eight to 12 weeks, young adults learn trades and earn certification for high-demand jobs.
“IT, professional services and even manufacturing are all growing industries and it’s really hot in Hillsborough,” Shepherd said.
Hill said he has less than a month of training left and will walk away with a brighter outlook on life.
“I am really optimistic that I will be doing something that I am knowledgeable and competent with by the end of this program that is going to treat me well and provide me with valuable work,” Hill said.
CareerSource is now signing up for the next round of apprentices. You must be an 18-24 year old Hillsborough County resident with low income to be eligible for the Career Apprenticeship program. Enrolled students can earn $ 15 by working three days a week at their workplace with two days of classes.