ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A new program at the Rochester Institute of Technology, RIT Certified, aims to help employees tap into a new skillset while assisting employers in filling much-needed positions.

RIT Certified will begin offering courses later this summer. Dennis Di Lorenzo, the Chief Business Officer for RIT Certified, discussed the new program Wednesday during our Greater Rochester Enterprise “Why ROC” conversation.

“RIT Certified is RIT’s commitment to workforce development and training within the region, and as a contribution to solving the talent gap issues that I think are happening across the country,” Di Lorenzo said. “We’re hearing from employers the need for more skilled talent. There’s a recognition that there are many displaced workers or those who are looking for realignment. Some of them may have baccalaureate degrees and some of them may not. RIT Certified is really looking to be that solutions provider to both employers and individuals.”

Courses and areas of study will be tailored for specific needs.

“In terms of the courses themselves and the certificates that we’re building, I like to think of them as tailored programs for your next job, not necessarily a full-fledged career builder,” Di Lorenzo explained. “So what we’re doing in tailoring the curriculum and the skill outcomes is working with employers to identify roles within their organizations where they may be struggling to find talent, identifying the skill outcomes that they’re looking for, identifying the strengths in candidates that they’re looking for, and then tailoring our training around those skill outcomes and strengths.”

The program is designed to fit the needs of a range of learners.

“We are looking at creating educational access for all,” Di Lorenzo said. “So it could be a program that is targeting displaced workers who do not have a bachelor’s degree. We are creating now a web development program in partnership with a company called Mindex that’s going to build an apprenticeship. That will be targeted at students who have technical skills and great potential but may be displaced out of the workforce and not see great opportunities for themselves. So I would say to you that we’re going to have a very diverse portfolio targeted towards all where someone could look at their current knowledge and experience and say this program is for me and it will help me with my next step.”

Di Lorenzo added that “ultimately, what we’re trying to do is create economic mobility for people out in the workforce. But in terms of our partnerships with employers in the region, building a skilled and talented workforce is important for attracting new companies in, helping current employers with retention, and ensuring that they actually have the talented workforce to grow their business and sustain their business.”

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Original article available via WROC News 8.