South Boston, VA – The SOVA Innovation Hub today announced a new training program for job seekers, students, and anyone looking to advance their digital skills. The program, called the LinkedIn Learning Lab, combines in-person and virtual support with free, online training aligned with in-demand careers, ranging from software developer to project management to digital marketing to IT help desk technician. The LinkedIn Learning Lab is a partnership among Microsoft TechSpark, Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC), and the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority.
“Microsoft, LinkedIn, and GitHub have come together to help 25 million people improve their digital skills in order to participate in the post-COVID-19 economy. We definitely want some of those 25 million people to be right here in Southern Virginia,” said Jeremy Satterfield, Microsoft TechSpark Program Manager.
The online training component of the LinkedIn Learning Lab begins with choosing from one of 10 career pathways, each of which is aligned with the top 10 jobs identified as having the most job openings on LinkedIn Jobs, have had continual growth over the past four years, pay a livable wage, and require skills that can be learned online.
Each career pathway can take an estimated 30 to 40 hours to complete and includes online lectures, videos, and quizzes. Some of the career pathways align with certifications to validate skills. While the training opportunities are free, other barriers can prevent people from completion, including lack of time or lack of a good learning environment.
“That’s where the idea for the LinkedIn Learning Lab came from. By offering the option to join a cohort of fellow learners, we hope participants will have a sense of camaraderie and shared commitment to complete the training,” said Lauren Mathena, Director of Economic Development and Community Engagement at MBC.
The LinkedIn Learning Lab’s support options include opportunities for virtual meetings with digital skills experts to learn about career pathways; with career advisors, for help with finding and applying for new jobs; and with Longwood SBDC consultants, for those who want to use their new skills to start or expand a business. The support menu also includes discounted fees for certification exams for participants wishing to validate new skills. For participants who need access to high-speed WiFi and a quiet place to complete the online training, the Halifax IDA is offering classroom space at the Southern Virginia Technology Park.
Tracy Mallard, Assistant Director of the Halifax IDA, said, “The Halifax IDA is excited to provide internet access and a quiet work environment to a cohort of residents to help them complete a LinkedIn Learning pathway.”
The LinkedIn Learning Lab classroom at the SVTP will be available on Tuesdays 1pm-5pm and/or Thursdays 8am-12pm, beginning September 22 and extending through October 30. Participants who choose to use the classroom will be required to sign a waiver and follow social distancing protocols.
To explore the online learning opportunities offered by LinkedIn, Microsoft, and GitHub and to join the LinkedIn Learning Lab cohort, visit http://sovainnovationhub.com/digital-skills/linkedin-learning. There is no cost to complete the training or to participate in the cohort.
SOVA Innovation Hub
Contact: Lauren Mathena
Contact: Jeremy Satterfield