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Free laptops and $600 per week: Sacramento starts digital training program with incentives

Using CARES Act funding, the city of Sacramento and the Greater Sacramento Urban League seek to train 40 people in either IT support or data analytics.

SACRAMENTO, Calif — The Greater Sacramento Urban League, the Greater Sacramento Economic Council, and the city of Sacramento announced Monday they plan to launch a program to help people in Sacramento get trained for jobs in technology fields using a portion of the city's CARES Act funding.

The program, titled the Digital Upskill Sacramento Program, focuses on training 40 people affected by COVID-19 and, specifically, people in underrepresented communities. The program is made in partnership with the General Assembly and Merit America, which work to train people for new careers.

Not only will the program offer 40 people the training necessary to gain employment in the technology field, but the program will also provide the participants with a free laptop, a stipend of $600 per week for nine weeks, and assistance in job placement.

"The promise of this program is that it connects all the dots: Participants are provided with high-quality instruction and a basic income that will allow them to complete their training without economic hardship, and then they are placed in jobs," Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said in a press release.

At the end of the training, the participants would be certified to work in IT support and data analytics positions.

The Greater Sacramento Urban League will begin screening applicants and are by Friday, Sept. 25. The Urban League's President and CEO Cassandra Jennings said applicants need to be living in Sacramento and have a high school diploma.

"It's going to boil down to who is really committed and who is really ready," Jennings said.

The program will take place from October through December 2020 with dedicated career coaching and support afterward until placed in a job. Jennings said while only 40 people will be selected for the training, the league hopes to offer additional training for people who aren't picked for the program.

This program will be using $787,650 of CARES Act relief funding. The Greater Sacramento Economic Council's President and CEO Barry Bromme said while this program is using CARES Act funding, the council will work towards making job training like this program available for more than just the initial 40.

"Implementing this type of digital pilot program for our underserved communities is a personal passion of mine and one of the most important initiatives we can tackle as a community," Broome said. "Currently, we place people into low-income jobs after being trained; we need to change the status quo."

 People interested in the program can apply through the Greater Sacramento Urban League's Google Form.

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