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Pinnacol grant helps military family and IT talent pipeline

September 19, 2018
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Anni didn’t believe things could get much worse. Her husband, a 21-year military veteran, suffered a traumatic brain injury in the line of duty, experienced memory loss and was unemployable after returning to civilian life. Previously a stay-at-home mom, Anni now needed to be the breadwinner for her family. So, Anni interviewed for jobs. But she’d spent years raising their two daughters as a dedicated military spouse, and time and again, employers told Anni she needed more current, marketable job skills and her college education wasn’t enough.

“I went to college because I was told education was important,” said Anni. “Then I was told I needed more experience. I felt frustrated and demoralized.”

Then, fortune smiled on Anni. Thanks in part to a grant by Pinnacol, Anni got a great job with a top wealth management company, and her family got back on its feet.

Pinnacol’s grant to Discover Goodwill funded training for Anni to become a certified IT help desk administrator, a job that pays well and offers ample opportunities for advancement. Serving southern and western Colorado, Discover Goodwill offers programs and services that help military families, seniors, youth and individuals with developmental and economic disadvantages. The Pinnacol grant supports the organization’s IT Primary+ job training program in the Pikes Peak region.

“Pinnacol’s grant funds training for Anni and many others for jobs in the burgeoning IT and cybersecurity fields,” said Chris Sautter, Corporate Citizenship Programs administrator at Pinnacol. “Discover Goodwill’s training program aligns very well with our community investment pillar of workforce development. Pinnacol’s committed to helping nonprofits fill Colorado’s talent pipeline in industries and regions facing worker shortages, and El Paso County boasts more than 130 IT and data storage companies that seek qualified workers. We’re meeting a very real need.”

With Pinnacol’s funding, Discover Goodwill’s IT Primary+ program has trained 18 people, 12 of whom have attained certifications. Many more will receive training for gainful careers in technology in the months to come. Pinnacol's grant covers the costs of preparing for exams in multiple IT certifications. It also funds the exam fees, support of case managers, internships at Discover Goodwill and other organizations, and job placement assistance.

“I met other students who were going through the same things I was — learning new skills to create better lives for themselves and their families,” Anni said. “These new friends were a great support system for me … The program and Discover Goodwill are a blessing to me and many others in the community.”

Meanwhile, Anni’s husband continues to make significant strides in his recovery. He’s bolstered by the financial peace of mind his family now enjoys. And after years away from his daughters during his many military deployments, he loves his role as a stay-at-home dad.

Learn more about Pinnacol’s approach to community grants.

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