Sharks Foundation and SAP partner to upskill veterans and youth through NPower’s Tech Fundamentals Program

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The Sharks Foundation (@SJSCommunity), the charitable arm of the San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) organization, and SAP (@SAP) are pleased to provide NPower (@npowerorg) with a $100,000 Community Assist Grant to support its Tech Fundamentals Program, which provides social support and job placement services to young adults and military veterans from underserved communities.

Additionally, to showcase the diversity of businesses in the Bay Area, SAP will share its Sharks partnership marketing rights with NPower throughout the remainder of February. As part of this unique benefit, NPower will be featured in posts on both the San Jose Sharks and SAP social media accounts, will have a video feature of the organization shown on the video display at SAP Center at San Jose, receive in-arena digital signage at SAP Center, and be featured in a Sharks Weekly email.

NPower is a national non-profit organization with a San Francisco Bay Area location in San Jose. NPower creates pathways to economic prosperity by launching digital careers for military veterans and young adults from underserved communities. The $100,000 Community Assist Grant from the Sharks Foundation and SAP will be used to support NPower’s Tech Fundamentals Program, a program that helps veterans and students earn industry-recognized certifications that enable them to secure middle-skills tech employment with the strong potential for income growth and career advancement.

The Tech Fundamentals Program is a proven training model that provides students with free, half-day tech skills training, professional development, social support, and lifetime access to an active and supportive alumni network. The 23-week program consists of:

  • 16 weeks of hands-on training (offered virtually) in hardware and software. Students receive exam prep for the CompTIA IT Fundamentals and A+ certification, industry-recognized and nationally portable credentials for entry-level tech jobs.
  • 7 weeks of paid, tech-based internship or full-time placement most often with Fortune 500 companies or high-growth mid-size companies.
  • Professional development opportunities including guest lectures by corporate volunteers on technical topics relevant to the syllabus or coaching in professional or power skills.

NPower’s comprehensive model also recognizes barriers often faced by veterans and young adults. A full-time Social Support Manager meets weekly with each student/vet to strengthen their social-emotional and professional development competencies and connect them to resources through NPower’s network of social service agencies for wraparound support.

The San Jose and San Francisco Bay Area program operates two cohorts (spring and fall) each year – training, equipping, and graduating 150+ trainees annually to enter and diversify the tech workforce. As part of their social support services, students/vets receive wraparound support to ensure they have the basic needs (housing, food, childcare, internet, computer access, etc.) necessary to complete the program and earn industry-recognized certifications, allowing them to enter the tech workforce and transition from poverty to the middle class. NPower’s job placement services provide its students with no-cost professional development training, internships, apprenticeships, and access to their network of employer partners in the Bay Area.

“I’m excited about our relationship with NPower and proud to help empower them to grow by supporting their work in partnership with the San Jose Sharks. As NPower focuses on ‘Creating a new pipeline to the digital workforce’, and SAP focuses on welcoming skills-based intergenerational talent, I’m thrilled that SAP is able to support organizations building up future leaders who are as diverse as the population of the Bay Area,” said Margot Goodman, Head of SAP North America Diversity & Inclusion.

See more about the partnership in the video we made with the Sharks foundation

Kapor Center is now an NPower Partner

Equitable access to tech career pathways is urgently needed following affirmative action’s dismantlement, the decline of four-year college enrollment, and the growing demand for rapid reskilling as automation and artificial intelligence shift the future of work. 

Based on extensive labor market demand analysis, the Kapor Foundation seeks to increase Black, Latine, and Native job placements in durable, emerging tech career paths such as cyber security and software engineering with an eye towards intersections with artificial intelligence. 

In response to this, today, the Kapor Foundation’s Tech Pathways Initiative is announcing funding commitments across an innovative set of partner organizations advancing Black, Latino, Native, and other underrepresented talent across our focal ecosystems of Oakland, California, Atlanta, Georgia, and Detroit, Michigan.

A significant talent gap exists in the US cybersecurity job market with an estimated 750K roles unfilled and demand growing exponentially as systems become automated. The field’s median salary of $117,058 is largely earned among white males, with only 24% of cyber workers identifying as women, 9% as Black, and 4% as Latino  Since entry-level cybersecurity roles are accessible to talent without a bachelor’s degree, alternative education programs are uniquely positioned to help quickly bridge this gap.

NPower creates free, accelerated pathways to digital careers for underserved young adults (ages 18–26) and military veterans. NPower and the Kapor Foundation will partner on a Cyber Career Accelerator that will upskill and elevate women of color in Oakland and Detroit through hands-on lab work, wraparound support, career coaching, mentoring, and job placement services. NPower programs have a proven 80% job placement rate into roles such as cybersecurity analyst, info security risk analyst, and network administrator.

Read more about the announcement from Kapor Center here

Highlights Across the NPower Network

It has been a busy season at NPower, view all the exciting engagements and activity happening across the country.

NPower California

Bertha Haro, Executive Director of NPower California, recently participated in a panel discussion, To Attract More Talent, Build a Bigger Tent at From Day One’s Live 2023: Los Angeles, focusing on expanding opportunities via nontraditional pathways to attract more talent. She shared insights on NPower’s approach to providing career-entry opportunities to underserved young adults as well as career transitioning support for veterans.

NPower Maryland

During the NPower Maryland Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud Computing Program event, NPower Placement and Alumni Engagement Manager, AWS Cloud Computing, Jessica Saraniti, shared that she was there because Maryland alumni had shown up and stood out. The trainees and alumni learned valuable knowledge, and the room was filled with engagement and amazing energy! Alumni were throwing out nuggets of wisdom such as “networking is important,” “don’t lie on your resume,” and “use the resources of the NPower team.” It was truly an incredible experience!

NPower Michigan

NPower Michigan’s Program Director, Kaleena Eugene-Louis, had the incredible honor to participate in an intimate roundtable with Governor Gretchen Whitmer, NPower Michigan graduate Daisy Pointer, and other key leaders and advocates to discuss barriers women in tech face and the work NPower is doing to reduce those barriers. Thank you to Accenture and the Michigan Women’s Commission for intentional focus on this topic.

NPower Missouri

Exciting News! The city of St. Louis has officially recognized NPower Missouri in the Digital Inclusion Action Plan, an initiative that is dedicated to bridging the digital divide and empowering young adults for a tech-driven future.

NPower New Jersey (New York and New Jersey Metro Area)

NPower New Jersey Veteran Coordinator, Daniel Gentile was recently interviewed by Sergeant Gonzalo Duran, CEO of Devil Dog USA. Daniel shared NPower’s vast free opportunities for veterans and military spouses exploring a transition into tech and his experiences transitioning from an active-duty Marine to a veteran entering the workforce.
View the engaging interview here:

NPower Ohio

NPower Ohio Executive Director, Demarus Crawford-White, and the Ohio team had the opportunity to tour Clothes That Work and welcome a new referral partner. Their work closely reflects our mission of helping individuals from underserved populations become prepared for new economic opportunities.

NPower Texas

NPower Texas and members of the Command Shift Coalition were thrilled to attend this year’s AfroTech Conference. Thank you to the Fund II Foundation and their entire leadership team for sponsoring and making this unforgettable experience happen. 

“It was the most beautiful collection of Black and Brown excellence in one place and a true inspiration for all who could witness it.” 
– Jonathan Pride, NPower Texas Executive Director

Community Helpdesk

The Urban League of Metropolitan Saint Louis runs their annual Turkey Giveaway serving families in St. Louis and East St. Louis. This year, around 3,000 turkeys and meals were given away and our St. Louis Community Helpdesk team was able to be part of the action to support and share free resources of tech support with the community! 

Command Shift

Candice L. Dixon, Executive Director of Command Shift, presented a case study of NPower ’s partnership with research partner Lightcast to showcase data and solutions that have advanced the organization’s efforts to benefit women of color, employers, and the tech industry overall during Lightcast’s recent Connect Conference.

Candice also had the opportunity to attend Comcast NBCUniversal’s ‘Project UP Summit,’ where she convened with nonprofit leaders and Comcast executives to celebrate the collective work towards advancing digital equity.