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Keeping one’s technical skills up to date is nothing short of daunting for a preponderance of IT workers.

Technologies evolve rapidly, customer requirements change and competitive pressures never let up. It’s no wonder that IT channel employers complain about a lack of talent while many job seekers say they can’t find employment.

So when you consider how hard it can be for job seekers who already have a background in technology to find a job, imagine the obstacles that folks wanting to break into the field must face.

IT trade association CompTIA, based in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., recognizes this difficulty, so the organization has created a program designed to help certain disadvantaged job seekers launch careers in IT. The program recently picked up several corporate sponsors, including Hewlett-Packard and Ricoh, whose donations of materials, services and expertise, will help to ensure that the people CompTIA is trying to propel into IT careers don’t fall by the wayside.

Dubbed “Creating Futures,” the program aims to provide IT career opportunities to veterans leaving the military, individuals with disabilities, at-risk youth and dislocated workers.

The program is offered through the CompTIA Educational Foundation, founded in 1998 to help these folks access training and education with the goal of acquiring skills that can be applied to life-long careers in IT. The foundation stresses that its mission is to assist in building careers, not merely finding jobs, which is a significant distinction.

Through Creating Futures, the foundation conducts research to determine the hiring needs of employers. Included in that work is research to zero in on the specific emerging skills that employers need to sell and service the latest technologies.

Equipped with that information, the foundation then tailors its education and training programs to the specific skills employers say they need.

CompTIA deserves major kudos for this initiative. Not only does it address an issue for employers, the program doubles its value by targeting people who need a little help to penetrate the IT job market. What could be a more worthy endeavor than lending a hand to veterans attempting to make a transition to civilian life or watching out for workers with disabilities and at-risk youth?

And I especially like inclusion of dislocated workers in this program. This is a group that too often is forgotten. Layoffs have become terribly commonplace, and sadly, many workers who once earned a decent living may never get back up to the level of salary they once had. This is one of the unspoken tragedies of the current state of our economy.

Not nearly enough has been done to help the folks that CompTIA is targeting with the Creating Futures initiative. Corporate America, is busy focusing on profitability and shareholder value, as it should be. Nevertheless, it has an obligation to help.

It’s an obligation that largely goes unfilled, but thanks in part to CompTIA’s efforts, the obligation isn’t being completely neglected.

In addition to HP and Ricoh, other corporate participants in Creating Futures are Element K, Giant Campus, Global Mentoring Solutions, MeasureUp, New Horizons Computer Learning Centers of Jacksonville, Fla., Pearson VUE, Prometric, Service 800, Technology Training and Services and TechSkills Cleveland.

Remember these companies. And when you need services in their area of expertise, why not weigh in their partnership with the CompTIA Educational Foundation when deciding whether to work with them?

Pedro Pereira is editor of eWEEK Strategic Partner and a contributing editor for The Channel Insider. He can be reached at