Employer Partner Spotlight: Qwincy Houston & ACI Learning
CWEE depends on an engaged group of employer partners – our Employer Advisory Council (EAC) – to advise CWEE on industry trends and ensure our program stays responsive to local employers’ needs.
One of our valued EAC members, Qwincy Houston is working to open new pathways to promising careers in IT, project management, and cyber security for CWEE career seekers. Qwincy is the Director of the Denver and National Virtual Learning Hub for ACI Learning, an organization focused on education and training for the IT industry.
Low-income career seekers like those CWEE serves often do not have access to the training they need to enter IT careers, though these careers offer excellent pay and benefits. Training programs can be prohibitively expensive and often not friendly to the schedules of working parents.
Yet as the cost of living in Denver continues to shoot upward, helping career seekers access high-value careers is a priority for CWEE and our employer partners.
IT: a particularly promising pathway for CWEE career seekers
As education and business move increasingly online, the need for IT professionals continues to grow. What’s more, many positions in IT do not require a college degree, just professional certifications that prove a candidate can do the job – making IT a particularly promising pathway for CWEE career seekers. Average starting salary for entry-level IT Support Specialist positions is over $50,000, and salaries grow rapidly over time.
For all these reasons, Qwincy is passionate about helping CWEE career seekers train for and begin careers in IT. Recently, Qwincy helped negotiate full-ride scholarships for two CWEE career seekers to complete the Computer User Support Specialist program at ACI Learning.
In addition to providing training and one-on-one mentoring and tutoring support to pass various industry-recognized IT certifications, ACI Learning provides individualized career pathway support, including access to ACI’s employer network.
Two CWEE career seekers have begun their training with ACI, and we look forward to bringing you updates on their progress!
“If she had gotten a little help… she would have been successful.”
CWEE career seekers, most of them single mothers, are working hard to advance their own careers so that their children can have the stability and security that comes with family economic self-sufficiency.
The first time Qwincy came to CWEE, he was struck by echoes of his own mother’s story in the experiences of CWEE’s career seekers.
Qwincy grew up in Virginia, raised by a single mom: Money was always tight, and food was sometimes scarce. His mother worked various jobs over the years, in a nursing home, then in a warehouse, and later as a typist once her back had given out after so many years of physical labor.
Qwincy recalls his mother making great efforts to improve her education and career prospects. He remembers sitting in the local community college cafeteria with his siblings while his mother attended class. Yet 30 years ago, Qwincy’s mom had little support in her quest to advance her career, and ultimately, she didn’t complete her degree.
“She was so motivated, but my mom had no guidance at all,” Qwincy says. “If she had gotten a little help from a program like CWEE, there’s no doubt she would have been successful.”
At CWEE, Qwincy sees reflections of his own mother’s story in the committed mothers who pass through our program, determined to gain new skills, start a new career, and build a promising future.
In turn, CWEE is deeply grateful to benefit from the experience, expertise and passion of committed professionals like Qwincy Houston.
Learn more about ACI Learning.