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DDEC launches workforce digital retraining initiative

Looking to provide and develop digital skills in citizens that will allow them to insert themselves in the digital economy, the Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC, in Spanish) unveiled its 21st Century Workforce Initiative, aimed 18-to-40-year-olds.

This multi-sector effort has been partly achieved through a collaborative agreement among the DDEC, Universidad Ana G. Méndez (UAGM), AWS re/Start, and the Centro para Emprendedores. 

“This represents the first step we’re taking to move our workforce to what it takes to compete in the digital economy of the 21st century,” DDEC Secretary Manuel Cidre said.

“Thanks to this collaboration among private companies, academia, and the public sector, we join forces to increase skills digital essentials for today’s world of work. We must bring opportunities to where talent exists and provide the knowledge, training, and tools necessary to generate new forms of professional and economic development,” he said. 

In the initial phase of the 21st Century Workforce Initiative will offer two courses. The first will be Introduction to Web Development, provided virtually by Codetrotters. The course will train 20 participants between the ages of 18 and 29 who complete the requirements for the Teodoro Moscoso Scholarship. At the end of the course, they will receive an official certification.

To qualify for this scholarship, the participant must have the ability demonstrate interest and passion for a career in technology, be fluent in Spanish and English, have intermediate computer knowledge proficiency, as well as a personal computer with minimum connectivity of 25 Mbps to the internet. The application deadline for this course is July 10, 2022. Classes will start July 19, 2022.

“Collaboration is the key for moving forward. That’s why Centro para Emprendedores and Codetrotters have partnered, to provide the necessary skills to thrive in this new economy with an entrepreneurial mindset,” said Nerma Albertorio, founder of Centro para Emprendedores.

For the second course, the DDEC teamed up with UAGM to announce a collaborative effort with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide free cloud computing skills development and job training in Puerto Rico through AWS re/Start. AWS re/Start is a 24-week/six-month virtual training program that helps unemployed and underemployed individuals build cloud computing skills and connect participants with employment opportunities at local employers.

This course train 30 participants between the ages of 18 and 35, who will be certified as Cloud Practitioners. Participation requirements are being a Puerto Rico resident and authorized to work in Puerto Rico, unemployed, underemployed, or has a part-time job.

The participant must also have a bachelor’s or associate degree in Engineering, Science, Information Systems, or related areas. The deadline to apply for this course is July 10, 2022. Classes will start on July 29, 2022.

“Once again our university joins impactful initiatives that help transform the island. We’re ready to exceed the expectations that ASW has with this great project,” said UAGM President José F. Méndez-Méndez.

“We will train Puerto Rican talent so that they can reinvent themselves with the knowledge and skills necessary to re-enter the world of work and grow in the technology industry,” he said.

“Ongoing education is an essential tool in developing the skills of our workforce, especially in technology,” said Cidre. “These public-private partnerships foster the necessary development of that workforce that needs to update their skills.”

“Developing a quality workforce adapted to the times will become our main competitive advantage to attract investment and develop a business class ready to compete in the global digital economy,” he added.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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