Empowering Success Now prepares Inland Empire students for their futures – San Bernardino Sun

A Fontana nonprofit organization offers training and skills badges that help applicants’ resumes stand out in the hiring process.

Artina McIntosh, a full-time college professor and entrepreneur for more than 30 years, saw a gap in the needs of her students. Realizing that many were not prepared for college, especially in the disciplines of writing, math and life skills, she wanted to help. While there were many such resources in Los Angeles, there were not that many opportunities for students in the Inland Empire.

Empowering Success Now, based in Fontana, was founded to bridge this gap 22 years ago and continues to find ways to help students transition into college, trade school, the military and the workforce with the skills and tools they need to succeed. The organization offers services that include an after-school homework program, skill and agility training through a basketball camp, low-cost internet and computers, youth programs and workshops that help students gain skills.

Three years ago, the organization received one of 50 grants awarded through Microsoft to create a program that boosts the skills of potential employees. The program increases applicants’ value and potential for success in the workforce. The Inland Empire Institute of Business and Technology, a division of Empowering Success Now, offers low- and no-cost technical and workforce skills.

Through the institute, clients are offered 30-day online digital skill badges, certificates and industry certifications that can help jobseekers whether they are in high school, changing careers or transitioning back into the workforce.

Every class offered online is created to teach skills needed for success in the overall workplace, a student’s industry of choice and in life. Classes are fast-paced and created to be engaging. The hope is that these skills can help students change their lives quickly. Currently, classes are free and supported by the Microsoft grant. In the future, they will remain low cost.

Ultimately, the institute aims to provide a place where employers can send staff to build skills they may be missing and potentially build skills badges based on employers needs. Currently, this includes business communication, professional etiquette and leadership. Online courses are taught by business professionals.

One of the organization’s clients who took three classes during the soft launch of the badge program was able to get a raise in her job.

“It is less expensive to have current staff gain skills than to hire new staff,” McIntosh said. “People want to become lifelong learners and they are telling us what badges they want to be available.”

Empowering Success Now recently received a job placement grant from the state of California. Interested clients can receive a skills assessment and be partnered with career specialists who will help them into internships and job placements. They are also directed to skills badges courses to pursue the skills they need for jobs.

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