Covenant House and Global Knowledge Nurture Digital Literacy in Toronto’s Homeless Youth

TORONTO, ON, October 13, 2014 – With the digital age changing the workplace and presenting new opportunities to youth equipped with specific IT skills, Global Knowledge Canada and Covenant House, the country’s largest homeless youth agency, have joined forces to offer valuable IT and computer programming training to homeless youth.

With the help and partnership of Canadian-owned CCI Learning, Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) courses were offered as an introductory pilot program to Covenant House youth with the goal of increasing digital literacy, specifically in the areas of mobile application and web development.  CCI Learning provided testing software, courseware, MTA exam preparation materials and testing vouchers.

The week-long Microsoft courses were offered on-site at Covenant House in August 2014 and gave the youth the opportunity to learn HTML and/or Software Development Fundamentals skills. To create awareness for the program and to offer students information on how to participate, Global Knowledge and Covenant House hosted several information sessions with instructors, staff and a local programmer providing insight and career guidance into the world of programming. Microsoft and Bell provided incentives to promote attendance for the program.

“We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Global Knowledge to provide valuable IT skills training to homeless youth. By nurturing digital literacy skills in our kids, we are equipping them with valuable and marketable tools that can be used in practical situations to help them get ahead and move towards independence,” says Bruce Rivers, Covenant House Executive Director. “We look forward to working closely with Global Knowledge to offer important training opportunities to more young people.”

Global Knowledge and Covenant House have also been working together for the past six months to provide Basic Computer Skills Training, Communication Skills and Customer Service Skills to youth in a pre-employment program with five, three-week sessions completed successfully.

“I am proud that Global Knowledge is able to make a difference by partnering with Covenant House to offer training opportunities that equip homeless youth with the skills to succeed in life,” says Scott Williams, President of Global Knowledge Canada. “In November 2013 I had the opportunity to participate in Covenant House’s inaugural ‘Executive Sleep Out’ event where Toronto’s business and community leaders slept outside to create awareness and raise funds in support of homeless youth.  I was moved by the stories that I heard and wanted to do more. There are many ways that Covenant House makes a positive impact in our community and everyone at Global Knowledge is thrilled to be a part of this.”

Results from all of the combined training efforts are promising. Students are now considering careers in programming and are interested in pursuing other training opportunities. Covenant House, Global Knowledge, and CCI Learning are committed to expanding the program into 2015, to further help address the needs of youth and digital literacy.

Covenant House Toronto provides 24/7 crisis shelter and the widest ranging services under one roof to almost 3,000 homeless youth annually. To do all this, the agency relies on donors for about 80 percent of its $21.8 million budget.

About Global Knowledge

Global Knowledge is the world's leading IT and business skills training provider. Offering the most relevant and timely content delivered by the best instructors, we provide customers around the world with their choice of convenient class times, delivery methods and formats to accelerate their success. Our business skills solutions teach essential communications skills, business analysis, project management, ITIL® service management, process improvement and leadership development. With thousands of courses spanning from foundational training to specialized certifications, our core IT training is focused on technology partners such as Amazon Web Services, Cisco, Citrix, IBM, Juniper, Microsoft, Red Hat and VMware. We offer comprehensive professional development for technologies like big data, cloud, cybersecurity and networking.

Founded in 1995, Global Knowledge employs more than 1,300 people worldwide and is headquartered in Cary, N.C. The company is owned by New York-based investment firm MidOcean Partners.

Erin Boudreau
Associate Manager, Communications
(416) 204-7094

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