For military personnel wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, recovering and rehabilitating from their injuries is only one of the challenges they face. Developing a new way to make a living becomes their next important mission.
Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is there to help. Established in 2003, WWP is a national, non-partisan organization whose mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors.
Recognizing WWP's vitally important work, the Creating IT Futures Foundation, the philanthropic arm of CompTIA, is providing the Wounded Warrior Project with up to 5,000 CompTIA certification testing vouchers for the group's injured military veteran clients, which will offset their costs by almost $400,000. These savings can then be used to provide additional services for Wounded Warriors. Delivery of the testing vouchers began in July 2011 and will continue through 2014.
"Everyone talks about the need to help military veterans get back on their feet and transition from battle mode to civilian life, but finding the best way to do that isn't always easy," said Charles Eaton, executive director of the Creating IT Futures Foundation. "Here was a program that has been helping wounded warriors to live more independently for years. Their mission aligns perfectly with ours, which is to help that in-need obtain IT careers."
Over 550 Wounded Warriors sat for certification exams in 2011 through WWP, achieving a 93 percent pass rate on the CompTIA A+, Network+ and Security+ exams. The warriors prepare for testing through WWP's Transition Training Academy (TTA), with courses currently offered at eight medical treatment facilities and bases around the country.
"Many of our Wounded Warriors have found new careers in the IT industry or have since changed the Military Occupational Specialty and been able to continue their military careers," said Richard Willis, director of TTA for Wounded Warrior Project. "Without the generous gift from CompTIA and its Creating IT Futures Foundation this would not have been possible."
The IT courses combine online-learning with hands-on "learning-by-doing." Instructors are sensitive to the needs of learners who have physical challenges or are grappling with cognitive difficulties due to traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Graduates have obtained full-time employment, started businesses, or returned to military service in IT-related roles.
"Wounded Warriors have paid a tremendous price for our freedom," said Rick Bauer, director of research and development for CompTIA's skills certifications division. "The single most worthy thing I have done in the past few years has been working with WWP. I can't describe the pride and gratitude I feel in having helped in some small way to connect these veterans to the resources and information that many in the IT world take for granted."
About the Creating IT Futures Foundation
Creating IT Futures Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity with the mission of helping individuals in need and populations under-represented in IT to prepare for, secure, and be successful in IT careers. For more information, visit www.creatingITfutures.org.
About Wounded Warrior Project
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is to honor and empower wounded warriors. WWP's purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. For more information, visit woundedwarriorproject.org