According to a recent job forecast report, nearly half of workers will need to upskill or reskill by the year 2025 in order to find and keep employment in the changing workforce.

Atlanta Housing (AH) understands these challenges that lie ahead. And this is why we are proud to recognize the first graduating cohort of the Digital Leadership Academy (DLA). Launched this year in partnership with the nonprofit TechBridge, the free, 10-week program is designed to train participants in high-demand technology skills. DLA, a division of the AH ACCESS initiative, is meant to help close the digital divide, remove barriers to digital access, and prepare our residents for success in an evolving, competitive job market, in which research predicts there will be dwindling employment opportunities for low-skill workers.

Several among the first cohort of DLA graduates successfully received certification in CompTIA A+—an industry standard in the information technology (IT) sector. And since graduating this spring, seven of the nine graduates are currently employed in their new career field, earning full-time wages and benefits.

As the world evolves, technology and technology jobs will continue to play an essential role in the workforce of the future. According to the  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) jobs are projected to grow by 8 percent in 10 years, making it the fastest-growing career field and one of the better paid fields. The growing potential for STEM workers was made further evident in the recent pandemic as more corporations pivoted to telework and adapted other tech-based measures to continue operations. So as the world continues to advance, the DLA program is just another important step to prepare residents for lifelong success in the new world.

Atlanta Housing resident Jocelyn B. is one of the recent DLA graduates armed with a new skill set to launch a promising career in the technology field.

“Although it was definitely a challenge, I made it through the journey,” said Jocelyn. “I had to prove to myself that I deserved better than I had. And I had to be a role model for my children. They are diligently watching me.”