BRCC, IBM and Partner Organizations Unveil No-Cost Resources for Capital Region Job Seekers and Employers

Job seekers, some of whom are reinventing their career prospects amid the economic disruption of COVID-19, now have another option for learning new job skills: digital coursework and assistance from Baton Rouge Community College, the BRCC Foundation and IBM. The project is strongly supported by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber and Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome. Individuals and employers interested in registering for the training, can visit  www.mybrcc.edu/skillsbuildregistration for more information.

The program taps into IBM’s no-cost, online “SkillsBuild” career readiness platform, which provides accredited learning content from IBM, along with career development coaching from local experts -- all at no cost to learners.

“Baton Rouge Community College is steadfast in our efforts to build and support our local and regional workforce,” said BRCC Chancellor Dr. Willie E. Smith. “Through the BRCC Foundation, we are proud to collaborate with IBM to offer the SkillsBuild platform to individuals throughout the Capital Region as we strive to serve our communities with excellence and provide both employers and job seekers with training opportunities, skills, and career-focused pathways to be successful.”

SkillsBuild provides job seekers -– including those returning to work after leave, or those changing professions –- with accredited digital learning content from IBM and partners. Users receive personalized coaching and practical learning experience, as well as foundational knowledge about digital technologies and professional workplace skills to help them re-enter the workforce. These skills can be useful for the growing number of "New Collar" jobs -- roles that don't require traditional, four-year college degrees, such as a Web developer, cybersecurity expert, customer service specialist, systems administrator, project manager, or data analyst.

SkillsBuild offers accredited badges to certify learning, so potential employers can trust the candidate's education quality. It also provides users the opportunity to put their learning into practice, so they can build their portfolio and demonstrate proficiencies. SkillsBuild uses the same cognitive learning platform that IBM employees use to personalize, track and complete the continuing education experience. 

The City-Parish is working closely with BRCC and IBM in leading the efforts to engage all job seekers and individuals who are looking to improve their employment outlook and job skills.

Job seekers can tap into tech and non-tech job referral networks; gain practical experience with hands-on projects; learn about workplace trends; brush up on professional skills such as resume-writing, time management, communication and collaboration.

“Our City-Parish government strives to develop, facilitate and implement public-private partnerships with industry leaders like IBM and the BRCC Foundation because they are critical for the growth of our city,” said Mayor Broome. “I am looking forward to The Department of Human Resources and The Department of Human Development & Services engaging in this pilot program, helping us to expand these opportunities to our City-Parish employees.”

BRCC works closely with business and industry partners throughout the region. Through the SkillsBuild platform, IBM and BRCC will provide employers with an opportunity to seek training and professional development for their employees at no-cost, which ultimately allows them to channel their resources to other critical matters.

“Reducing the barrier to high-wage, high-growth career paths is critical to building an inclusive economy, and to supporting the region’s workforce in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of BRAC. “The workplace- and skills-based credentials that SkillsBuild innovatively provides will be hugely beneficial to regional employers, and BRAC is committed to engaging the business community in taking full advantage of the program.”

IBM SkillsBuild is offered in cooperation with local non-profit organizations in 16 countries. It's part of IBM “New Collar” job initiatives, including P-TECH and Open P-TECH. These are resources aimed at creating education-to-career pathways, especially for those from underserved communities. 

Coronavirus and automation has motivated many workers to find new job opportunities with growth potential. According to one IBM study, in the next three years, nearly 120 million workers in the world's 12 largest economies may need to be retrained as businesses adopt AI and intelligent automation technologies. link: https://ibm.co/37Q6WJW  By 2030, as many as 375 million workers globally will have to master new skills. 

Charles Masters, IBM’s senior location executive for Louisiana, said, “Even before coronavirus, it was clear that jobs are changing due to automation trends. These disruptions require businesses, not-for-profits and governments to make a fundamental shift in to retooling the workforce. IBM SkillsBuild is designed to focus learners on cultivating practical and professional skills to help meet the challenge, and assist employers in growing their businesses, while making their workplaces more diverse and inclusive.” 

More information about IBM SkillsBuild can be found at SkillsBuild.org. Follow IBM's corporate social responsibility initiatives by following @IBMorg or visiting www.IBM.org.

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