When Guy Johns was laid off last year from his position with a large financial services company, he found himself wishing he had the IT training required in so many of the local want-ads. "I really wanted to get into IT but assumed that if you hadn't done it in school, it'd be pretty impossible to pick up," says Johns.
A recruiter recommended the Pragmatic Works Foundation. The philanthropy was founded by Brian Knight, CEO of the Clay County tech firm Pragmatic Works. It chooses applicants without IT training who have "a strong work ethic and a passion to change their lives," Knight says. It trains 12 students a month — for free — in Microsoft analytics, teaching them the basic skills to work as a database administrator or reports writer. So far, the non-profit has trained more than 100 military veterans or unemployed or underemployed people. Three-fourths of the graduates have landed IT positions afterward.