Program helps veterans earn IT certifications

The CompTIA Program helps veterans, transitioning soldiers and military spouses earn IT certifications.

A new program for veterans in El Paso is helping them get jobs in a higher-paying field.

Workforce Solutions Borderplex's CompTIA program is open to veterans, transitioning soldiers and military spouses. After three months, they walk away with valuable IT certifications.

"This field is definitely growing and it's something that we're going to need to put a push on," program manager Teresa Vasquez said.

Fifteen people make up the second CompTIA class. The 12-week course held at Park University is a full-time commitment.

Of the 15 people in the first CompTIA class, five are employed, five are speaking with potential employers and the remaining five are awaiting their last certification.

"It pretty much instantly gives you the opportunity to get a professional position somewhere in the IT world," Staff Sgt. Shawn Biederman said.

Biederman said he plans to use these skills when he retires from the Army.

"I'll be leaving the service here shortly, retiring, and I'm going to apply those skills along with my higher education to be able to work for somebody out there," he said.

Elizabeth Mata, a Navy veteran, is the only female in the class. She said she quit her previous job to be a part of the program.

"I'm a single mom with a bachelor's degree, a veteran and I'm doing this full time," she said. "It would literally bump me up to maybe management or supervisor and that's exactly what I want to be."

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