Nick Ciardullo, who is on the autism spectrum and a client of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), shared with his VR counselor that he had a desire to learn new Information Technology (IT) skills that could help him in the workplace.

“[My VR Counselor] was always available to answer questions and listen to my thoughts. Sometimes we did not agree on things but that’s ok. My Counselor always gave me options and the final decisions were always mine,” Nick said.

Through a VR referral, Nick participated in BAC’s pilot IT program for adults with disabilities, the Phidias Program, where he learned new skills via a remote learning system. Most recently, BAC has partnered with its IT program collaborator Codecraft Works, an educational technology company that specializes in a blended learning approach to computer science, engineering, and cybersecurity curriculums, to create “Launch IT.” Launch IT is a customized educational program geared toward veterans, veterans with disabilities, and adults with disabilities who are interested in pursuing careers in the IT field.

While planning its IT trainings, BAC met with several IT-based business leaders, including Cordell Rolle, CEO of Rolle IT, to determine which skills they would most value in candidates for entry-level positions. BAC and its technical program collaborator, Codecraft Works, then incorporated these needed skills into the Launch IT program design.

“Prior to working with VR, I really did not have any work experience. VR got me my first OJT. From there, I did my OJT with the Phidias Adult Program at Brevard Achievement Center,” said Nick. “This is where I knew that the path which I chose in college was the correct one!”

Nick a young man working in an Information Technology position checking cables at a wall plate

Nick is removing the wall plate and using a RJ45 cable tester to test the tone signal coming through the cable.

After graduating from the Phidias Program with several IT certifications in hand, Nick interviewed with RolleIT and was offered part-time, permanent employment.

“Nick has been doing great and he’s ready to ‘Rolle!’ We are happy to have him with us,” Rolle stated shortly after Nick began working. “I know he is going to bring value to our team and customers. I hope we provide the same value in his life.”

Nick continued to grow during his employment and recently Rolle reached out to BAC to praise Nick’s training and the value he is adding to his company.

“Nick is doing outstanding,” Rolle reported. “He has been adding value to our team by staying on top of PC management. He’s been patching, maintaining services, and performing security scans. He’s fit in well with the team, adding his perspective in our open company calls.”

Nick credits VR with helping him gain confidence in himself and his skills and reach this positive place in his career. “Through connections made by VR, doors have opened for me!”

Are you looking to start a career in the IT Field? Do you know a veteran or an individual with disabilities who would benefit from this unique training? Launch IT is now enrolling participants in the summer class, accepting applications through July 2021.  

Potential candidates should have an interest in a career in the IT industry, basic computer experience, and the problem-solving capacity to develop skills, knowledge, and workplace readiness. Because the course work will be virtual, applications are open to individuals located outside of Brevard County as well. All candidates are expected to pass a competency assessment to determine their ability to work at the required levels of proficiency in math, communication, and social skills to be successful within the context of the program.

Current Florida Vocational Rehabilitation participants are welcome to apply and should discuss this training opportunity with their VR Counselor. 

Program training fee assistance available for those who self-identify as veterans, veterans with disabilities, and individuals with disabilities who have financial need and do not qualify for other Employment Support Services.

For more information visit: https://bacbrevard.com/launchit/ or contact Sue Bassett at 321.446.3539 or sbassett@bacbrevard.com.   

Young man working with his boss inside an airport hanger

Nick and Cordell Rolle, CEO of RolleIT, on-site at a client’s office located at the Melbourne Airport.

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