In Warren County, the unemployment rate has dropped from 17% at the start of the pandemic down to 5%. But that percentage doesn’t include about 2,000 people who are not back in the workforce yet.

For unemployed or under-employed people, SUNY Adirondack is offering free short-term IT training starting in July.

What You Need To Know

  • Eligible WRAP participants are either unemployed or underemployed (working part-time)

  • Education is provided by educators from the non-profit AlbanyCanCode

  • WRAP provides extra services like child care, access to technology and success coaching 

The education will be provided by the non-profit AlbanyCanCode. The Workforce Readiness Academies Program, or WRAP, has two courses: front end web development and ‘Python’ programming language for data analytics.

"There's a large number of people, that if they don't know how to use computers, or do certain types of work involving computers, they are just left out of the equation for the jobs of the future. So now more than ever I believe is a critical time for people to be gaining these skills,” said AlbanyCanCode Founder and CEO Annmarie Lanesey.

Lanesey says jobs in the tech sector are largely going unfilled, and that’s because not enough people have the skills to do them — yet.

"I believe most people have the aptitude for these jobs, and they don't know they have it in them. The skills aren't necessarily just the programming jobs, there are all these tech-adjacent jobs — jobs that support the tech industry — that if you if you understand a little bit of the technology, and you can help and work on a software team, those too are jobs that there are not enough people to fill, and are high paying,” said Lanesey.

Warren County’s Director of Employment and Training, Liza Ochsendorf, works with unemployed and underemployed people to get them into WRAP and other training programs. She says there are several things holding people back from re-entering the job force.

"It's not just the enhanced federal unemployment benefits that expire in September, the narrative is that's the only reason people haven't returned, and that's not it. We all know people who are still juggling fluctuating school schedules with children at home. We see that on zoom meetings with children in the background. There are also some industries that haven't completely recovered from the pandemic,” said Ochsendorf.

The thing about WRAP is that, along with free training to explore a new field, it also offers free services like child care, access to technology and success coaching — making it easier for parents or part-time workers to get their foot in the door now.

State and federal grant money is helping to provide this free program to 75 people. If you’re interested, the first course starts July 20, and you can find more information at the school’s website.