Dania Velazquez was working as an operations coordinator at a local nonprofit, but she dreamed of working in information technology. She knew she needed training and certifications to verify her skills and get started on her chosen career path, but her schedule did not allow her to attend traditional classes.
The first step on her journey was to attend a local hiring event, where she learned of the Goodwill Industries of Tulsa (OK) TulsaWORKS Google IT Support Professional Certificate program. TulsaWORKS offers a suite of digital training courses that prepare participants for different aspects of the IT industry, from computer basics to recognized certifications. The Google IT Support Professional Certification is an 8- to 12-month course that provides intense training on entry-level IT skills. Participants learn through self-paced virtual training at home and weekly onsite class work at TulsaWORKS.
The program offered Dania the flexibility she needed to complete the class online, with additional support provided through in-person classroom time. She attended in-person classes occasionally, but almost all of her work was done virtually with support from her instructor during non-traditional hours. During the course of her training, she also received Goodwill career navigation support services both virtually and in person.
After completing training, Dania earned a new job in her chosen field with the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma as an IT specialist in June 2019. She obtained her Google IT Support Professional Certificate on November 29, 2019, and received a promotion to become an IT Support Tier I Technician.
She says her greatest accomplishment so far was serving as a panelist during the Tulsa Regional Chambers’ State of Education event alongside Tulsa’s Mayor and Lumina Foundation’s senior vice president and chief strategy officer, Danette Howard, Ph.D. (see photo)
When asked about her experience with Google IT, Dania said, “I was able to advance in my career, and during COVID-19, I was able to keep my job when others experienced many changes and some lost their jobs due to those changes.”
She also said she could not be happier thanks to the assistance and opportunity that Goodwill provided her to move into her new career.