Step IT UP to Hire Latinas for STEM Fields

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

By: Ashmar Mandou

An unprecedented event is about to take place in Oak Brook next week and it is exclusively targeted to Latinas across the Chicagoland area. On June 5th and 6th, Step IT UP America will host a hiring event in Chicago at ITT Tech Oak Brook Campus to make good on its promise to get 100 minority women hired in Chicago.

Step IT UP America was created by UST Global, an Aliso Viejo-based information technology solutions and services company for Global 1000 enterprises, to respond to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) efforts across the country to engage more minority women in technology. The number of minority females is low in both in college-level STEM degrees and in the national STEM workforce. According to UST Global, women make up 46 percent of the total workforce, but hold only 24 percent of jobs in technical or STEM fields. Latinos comprise 13 percent of the total workforce and only three percent of the technical workforce.

Spokesperson Andréa Thornton, communications program manager UST Global USA, answered a few of our questions regarding Step IT UP America hiring event.

Lawndale Bilingual News: As Step IT UP America’s hiring event draws near, what is the mission behind it?

Spokesperson Andréa Thornton: The grand vision of Step IT Up America is to create 5000 new Jobs for Inner City Women and Girls to enter Tech Careers by 2020. Our immediate commitment is to train and employ 1,000 inner-city women in ten of the nation’s largest cities. Within those cities, the program will reach 50 communities across America to train and employ hundreds of minority women each year. In Chicago, the program aims to hire 100 minority women. UST Global will recruit, train and employ minority women in technology careers and place them in permanent positions with blue-chip corporations in Chicago. The program connects to the heart and soul for fundamental social change.

LN: What should attendees expect? What should they bring to the event?

AT: Step IT UP America’s Chicago Hiring Event is unique in that no experience is necessary for candidates and minimal qualifications are required. Participants should come prepared to spend a minimum of two hours for program orientation, interviewing and assessment testing. Attendees should bring resumes and cover letters and demonstrate a passion to work in technology. Additional qualifications include:

  • Minority Female
  • GED or high school diploma with graduating GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Currently enrolled in community college or 6 to 10 college units completed
  • Basic computer skills
  • Availability for 12-week paid training
  • Note: AA degree strongly preferred

LN: Please describe the importance of having more Hispanic women earn STEM degrees?

AT: Step IT Up America, a UST Global national program, provides a vital formula to train and employ inner-city minority women. It equips them with the technological skills to launch successful IT careers. Information technology jobs, along with other STEM jobs are the largest job creators in America and around the world. Yet women are severely underrepresented in this arena! The program connects to the heart and soul for fundamental social change. As corporations are under pressure for cost and speed for implementing technology, more and more these jobs and opportunities are concentrated on few sectors in the society and in a few countries around the world. We believe this can be changed. UST Global is investing in recruiting, training, and employing thousand women from inner-cities who display the commitment to attend a community college.

Chicago is one of nine cities this year to gain the Step IT UP America program. On June 5th and 6th Step IT UP America will host the Chicago Hiring Event at ITT Tech Oak Brook Campus, 800 Jorie Blvd, Suite 100.

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