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Chad White Connects Skills to New Career

Chad White knows a thing or two about change.

Not only did he become a parent to his daughter, Noelle, in the last 18 months, the Ensocare Junior Web Developer also recently transitioned into a new career. After spending more than a decade in graphic design and corporate sign production, Chad took a step back to determine the field he wanted to work in for the future.

Research & Development

Chad’s personal research and development journey started when he took stock of the skills he had gained as a graphic artist and a project manager and did some thinking about how his strengths might transfer to the growing field of information technology. “When my daughter was born, I looked ahead to my future,” Chad said. “I wanted to be in a field that was growing and cutting edge.”

The next step in Chad’s career transformation involved education. He discovered Interface: The Web School, an Omaha program that bills itself as “building people who build the web.” Founded by Shonna Dorsey and Beth Engel in 2014, Interface provides practical training that meets the needs of individuals like Chad and employers ranging from start-ups to large corporations who are need of technology talent.

Chad attended Interface part-time, three nights a week, while holding down his full-time job in the signage industry. “I’d get off work and go in there from six to nine and then learn at home afterward,” he recalled. “I can’t remember the number of nights I was up until three or four in the morning.” Throughout the 11-week program, Chad sharpened existing skills and underwent intensive training in areas such as HTML structuring, CSS styling, JavaScript and jQuery. All of these languages and skills are considered essential knowledge for developers engaged in front-end website design.

CONNECT Program

Although Chad made the decision to pursue an IT career on his own, he came into contact with a unique federal grant program called CONNECT shortly after he graduated from Interface and right before he joined Ensocare in May 2016. Coordinated through the Nebraska Department of Labor, the CONNECT program brings together workers, educational partners and employers to help fill Nebraska’s growing demand for IT professionals.

The CONNECT program supports Nebraska employers like Ensocare, a healthcare technology company, by offering employer reimbursement to help offset the costs associated with training new IT professionals on-the-job, and serves as an additional source to find IT talent in an already competitive environment. According to the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, at any time there are about 600 open tech positions in the greater Omaha area. And the Nebraska 2010-2020 Long-Term Occupational & Industry Projections report indicates that software and system development jobs are expected to increase by 29.8 percent by 2020.

The CONNECT program is currently providing education and training opportunities, as well as supportive services and case management to over 200 individuals – Chad being one of them – who are seeking employment in the IT field. “It’s really a win all around,” said Lynn Owen, Human Resources Business Partner for CQuence Health Group (Ensocare’s parent company) . “The CONNECT grant helps job seekers and students secure employment and the employer (Ensocare) receives reimbursement on wages and continuing education.”

As for the ongoing education, Chad is currently taking an online UX/UI (user experience and user interface) course through the University of California-San Diego and says he may consider additional courses through the University of Nebraska Omaha. For now, the Junior Web Developer is engaged and challenged on making Ensocare’s care coordination solution the best it can be. “Right now, I’m really focused on the front-end design and development for the application,” he emphasized.

Although he’s just a few months into his new role with Ensocare, Chad said he’s glad he made the change in careers. He advises that others considering a similar shift in vocation reflect on both reality, as well as what they want. “Obviously, do some research,” he says, before you make the change. “Figure out what your strengths are and how the skills you have right now are transferable to another field.”

To apply for the same course that helped Chad switch careers, click here. Our next Foundations course begins January 23, 2017.