Empowering Futures Through Workforce Development: Covenant House Florida's IT Career Pathways Program 

Previously homeless youth engaging in job training and workforce development programs such as IT

As the school year wraps up for traditional students, many young people are celebrating their academic achievements. However, across the Covenant House federation, our youth are not just completing school—they are overcoming adversity to engage in job training and workforce development programs, such as the IT Career Pathways Program. 

At Covenant House Florida, we are dedicated to equipping young people with the skills and opportunities they need to succeed in the workforce. Our comprehensive workforce development curriculum offers interactive courses in interviewing, resume building, career planning, networking, and communication. These programs are enriched by the dedication of volunteers who generously share their knowledge and experience, helping to prepare our youth for the challenges of the job market. 

One of the standout programs within our workforce development initiative is the IT Career Pathways Program. This program offers various certifications, including the prestigious Cisco IT Career Pathway, which recently saw one of our youth successfully complete their certification. From January to June, approximately 45 young people have enrolled in our program, demonstrating a strong interest and commitment to advancing their careers. 

Last year alone, CHFL saw 163 youth gain employment and 192 engage in on-site job readiness activities. These impressive numbers reflect the effectiveness of our curriculum and the positive impact it has on the lives of the young people we serve. 

Over the past year, CHFL has also participated in the IT Career Pathway Pilot program, a partnership that has provided essential funding and support. Through this program, twelve site affiliates have been able to support six youth each in their pursuit of IT certifications. At CHFL, two youth have already completed their Cisco Cybersecurity certifications, and three more are currently working towards their certifications. Regina Jennings of CHI shared that nine young people from Covenant House Georgia have also successfully completed their certifications.  

To support our youth in prioritizing their studies, we provide laptops and financial aid in the form of stipends. This support ensures that they have the necessary resources to dedicate the time and effort required to complete their certifications. Additionally, site leads and Regina regularly meet to collect and analyze qualitative and quantitative data in real-time, ensuring the program remains responsive to the needs and feedback of our youth. 

The most popular certification within the IT Career Pathways Program is currently Cybersecurity, followed closely by Digital Marketing.   

One of the most rewarding aspects of this program for Regina has been her direct interactions with the youth. Their enthusiasm and commitment to their futures are truly inspiring. One youth shared their perspective on the program, saying, "I want to talk to others about enrolling. It made me think that we have so many people in this world, but I am a part of it too! And I would tell the Covenant House youth that your current situation is not your destination!" 

This sentiment captures the essence of what Covenant House Florida strives to achieve: empowering young people to recognize their potential and pursue their dreams. Through our Workforce Development programs, we are not only providing skills and certifications but also instilling hope and confidence in the future. 

At Covenant House Florida, we believe that every young person deserves the opportunity to succeed, and our Workforce Development and IT Career Pathways programs are crucial steps towards making that belief a reality. We look forward to continuing to support and celebrate the achievements of our youth as they build brighter futures for themselves. 

Shelter Is Only the Beginning

From crisis to care: Find out what it's like when a young person enters our doors.