October jobs report shows nationwide growth, free tech job training for students, vets in Charlotte

Updated: Nov. 2, 2018 at 5:52 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - New jobs added to the US economy in October exceeded expectations, and in Charlotte much of that job growth is in the technology sector.

Last month there were 250,000 new jobs added to labor market, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In the Charlotte area, the job market is growing steadily in the technology sector, with 12,000 jobs posted for tech workers right now, according to the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce.

The barrier to entry for a tech job can be daunting for those without any prior technology experience, but with a myriad of tech training camps and boot camps in the area, it is becoming more feasible, though it can be expensive.

One software technology training program through IBG Software is offered online, completely free of cost to any student age 16-23, veteran or person with a criminal record who has had difficulty finding a job.

“By 19 I’m going to be making 6-figures hopefully,” said Mohamad Nadr Honsi, an 18-year-old T.R.A.P. Tech Graduate.

T.R.A.P. stands for Training Responsible Advanced Professionals.

Honsi started tech training after graduating from high school because he didn’t want to take out thousands in student loans.

“College has really been established as the thing you need to succeed and it’s just not so much anymore,” said Diondre Lewis, Executive Director of the T.R.A.P. Program:

Lewis went to Duke University for his undergraduate degree in computer science, but says that he realized he could bring that training low-middle income people in the area who couldn’t afford college and wanted to change their life.

“When someone has a good job then their life is changed,” said Lewis.

One of those lives changed was his sister’s, Tajah Lewis, who had some misdemeanors on her record and said that record stifled her ability to get a good job.

So even though she did not have any experience in technology, decided to give the training a try.

“Before taking this course I couldn’t even program my VCR," said Lewis. "So I was a little concerned about my aptitude as far as technology was concerned but it’s really all about following directions.”

She followed the directions. and went from a $13 per hour job as a nursing assistant to a $75 per hour job as software engineer after she finished tech training.

“We’re just building the program based on what the world is telling us,” said Lewis.

Lewis said that all of the big companies in the Charlotte area have one thing in common, that being their need for technology support. From websites to apps to automated systems, technology workers are in high demand to fill those gaps.

“For my situation it’s a life changing thing,” said Honsi. “Where I came from I didn’t have much. This program helped my change my life and my family’s life.”

The program is free for students, veterans and former criminals to sign up at IBG Institute. All of the classes are taught online and can be taken at the student’s individual learning pace.

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