Dallas-Based Training Academy Launches New Funding Solution to Help Underserved Workers Access Mid-Level Jobs | Texas News

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DALLAS, May 13, 2021 / PRNewswire / – ForgeNow, a vocational academy that prepares returning veterans, first-generation immigrants and formerly incarcerated adults for in-demand intermediate skill jobs, today announced the launch of an innovative fee payment solution education and funding that will help displaced workers access training amid high demand. areas of HVAC and electrical repair. Thanks to a partnership with Merit, a pioneer in funding solutions for skills-based education and training programs, students enrolled in the program will now be eligible for merit-based funding, which in many cases can reward individual borrowers for their experiences. educational and military past. “

“We are seeing a strong demand for talent in intermediate skill areas like skilled trades and related health care, in part due to the aging workforce and the exponential growth of traditional trades, construction and infrastructure. -Potential workers who often cannot access the required training due to lack of funding or financial demands that disadvantage the same low-income workers looking to launch their careers, said Marvin Key, co-founder and CEO of ForgeNow. “This innovative financing option will expand access to high-impact vocational training, giving workers a better chance to train for well-paying jobs that will dramatically improve their long-term economic prospects.”

Approved by the Texas State Workforce Commission, ForgeNow primarily serves returning veterans, first generation immigrants, and formerly incarcerated adults (or so-called second chance workers). Its unique training model offers an intensive 8-week bootcamp that combines online and classroom instruction with hands-on practice in a training lab taught by industry veterans. Students complete the technical training necessary to enter the workforce as a novice electrician or heating and air conditioning technician.

The introduction of the new funding option offered on the Meritize platform will provide an alternative for students who are not currently eligible for state funding through the Texas State Workforce Commission or federal funding from the Forever GI Bill or of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Students will now be eligible for merit-based funding through Meritize. Unlike traditional lenders who rely solely on FICO scores and other financial records to determine whether to lend to an individual, Meritize takes into account the breadth and depth of an individual’s academic or military achievement. to improve credit scores and improve loan options.

Merit-based funding can be an important source of financial assistance and credit for workers of various educational and professional backgrounds, including those who have recently left the criminal justice system. According to the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, 70,000 people leave the custody of state prisons and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice each year. Many of these people do not have the income or credit history to access consumer credit products, training or employment.

The new funding option will unlock career paths that provide low-income workers with the opportunity to access well-paying jobs with long-term advancement opportunities. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for talent in HVAC and electrical repair is expected to increase by 4% and 8%, respectively. Heating and air conditioning technicians earn an average salary of $ 48,730 per year, and electricians earn an average salary of $ 56,180 per year.

“Mid-skill jobs that require less than a college degree are now the largest segment of the US labor market. The ForgeNow model is a powerful example of how we can match untapped talent to the needs of employers and the economy at large, ”said Chris Keaveney, founder and CEO of Meritize. “This collaboration will expand access to training for people changing careers or deserving a second chance. It will help meet the demand for talent in fast-growing industries by creating pathways to upward mobility for segments. of the population that are too often overlooked. “

About ForgeNow: America is coming back to the trades. We train adults at all stages of life for sought-after and well-paying careers. Our economy needs more than just four or even two-year graduates. There is a huge demand for skilled employees in the workforce who are trained specifically for their careers and are ready for use from day one. Our founders saw this need and created a solution. Approved by the Texas Workforce Commission, our training programs are built with employer input, structured so that the company and the employee have a long-term, successful partnership.

About Meritize: Meritize is a leading provider of financing solutions for skills-based education and workforce development. The company’s proprietary merit-based loan program goes beyond traditional underwriting and uses an individual’s academic or military accomplishments to improve credit scores and expand funding opportunities, resulting in increased access to education funding and better outcomes. In addition to its merit-based loan platform for students and training partners, Meritize works directly with employers on personalized talent development solutions to help meet the demand for skilled workers. Frisco, Texasbased on Meritize is a private company. For more information visit www.meritize.com.

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