Drupal As A Workforce Program

Published September 28, 2011

Anello Consulting is proud to announce the start of the first session of our Drupal Career Starter Program (DCSP). This Drupal training and internship program is designed to teach the basics of Drupal, including a strong foundation on community involvement and practical experience.

The DCSP kicks off on October 4 on Florida’s Space Coast to give laid-off IT-savvy Space Shuttle workers an opportunity at new careers. Brevard Workforce, the local workforce development board funded by the state of Florida, is using federal grant funds to provide scholarships, and potentially paid internships, for the 19 carefully selected participants. The goal is to keep these skilled workers in the area while expanding their skills from the shrinking aerospace industry to self-guided, opportunity-rich careers in Drupal.

We carefully designed an application process that allowed for a maximum number of people to qualify for consideration. We weren't looking for a particular skill set - we wanted to be able to accept students who had at the very least a small set of applicable skills as well as a strong desire to learn something new as well as to be part of an open-source community.

We developed this idea as an ideal combination of our skills at Anello Consulting. While I specialize in Drupal development, training, and media, Gwendolyn Anello's specialty is economic and market development for government and industry. With the shortage of qualified Drupalers and the plethora of local folks looking for new careers, our proposal to the workforce board brought Drupal training into the fold of funded career development training. Over the course of several months, we were able to secure a contract for a pliot program for the DCSP with the support of several companies willing to lend support and possibly provide internships.

We designed the 10-week, 20 session (70 hours total) course to teach the students a strong Drupal foundation, confidence to dive in deeper in their interest areas, a strong community-involvement aspect, and to give them enough background for them to hone in on the specific Drupal niches that appeal to each student. In addition to the classroom training and self-study, we've also teamed up with BuildAModule.com to provide steeply discounted memberships for attendees to access Drupal video tutorials for the duration of the course. Anello Consulting is planning on using this course as a pilot to build on for other regions that have high unemployment rates. Mid-way and after the course, we’ll monitor and report on the success of the program with participants and a few weeks after the course, touch base with the host intern companies to see how we can improve things.

The program could set a precedent with workforce boards, and hopefully help to mainstream training programs through funding from other agencies.

If you are interested in supporting the DCSP by hosting one or more of our future interns, especially telecommuting jobs for the Space Coast workers, please let us know.

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