PUTNAM COUNTY - Unemployed and underemployed individuals with basic computer skills and a desire to start a new career may be eligible for free training. Applications are being accepted now for a session beginning Aug. 22.
The Innovative Strategic Training Achieving Results (iSTAR) database programming initiative provides free tuition, books, and paid, on-the-job training to prepare students for careers in computer software engineering, computer systems analysis, and computer programming.
To be eligible, students should have some experience in Microsoft Windows, Word, Excel and Access and be able to attend an eight-hour class, Monday through Friday, for 16 weeks. Classes will be available at Northwest State Community College in Archbold, Ohio, and the Scott Park Campus of the University of Toledo.
"This program has the potential to impact a lot of people throughout northwest Ohio," said Todd Hernandez, director of technical training at NSCC. "The main goal is to provide individuals with the skills they need to succeed in a career that pays a living wage."
The iSTAR database programming classes are funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment Training Administration. Northwest State Community College is administering the grant in partnership with WSOS Community Action Commission. The iSTAR program is available to residents in Crawford, Defiance, Fulton, Hardin, Hancock, Henry, Lucas, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Sandusky, Seneca, Van Wert, Williams, Wood and Wyandot Counties.
Students who complete the 16-week course will receive 18 weeks of paid, on-the-job training with the goal of continued employment. Graduates will receive industry certifications as well as a Database Programming Certificate from Northwest State. All credits earned through the program can be applied toward an associate's degree at NSCC. iSTAR also offers career coaching along with other services designed to help students succeed.
"By helping train workers, we will impact many area businesses as well, because they will have access to local talent who meet industry standards as soon as they complete the training," said Roger Fisher, employment and training coordinator for WSOS Community Action. "We are looking for students who have the drive and aptitude for a program like this, but we need more employer partners too."
For more information, or to complete an online application, visitwww.istar-initiative.com, or call Sarah Stubblefield (Archbold) at 419-267-1512 or Carrie Arndt (Toledo) at 419-267-1494. Interested persons may also call Roger Fisher at 419-334-8911.