Innovate Birmingham grads join UAB IT help desk

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AskIT Jowers Allante Jowers joined UAB AskIT after completing the Innovate Birmingham Workforce program in May.Two new staff members joined UAB IT after graduating May 5 in the inaugural class of the Innovate Birmingham Workforce program, a grant-funded program that connects metro-area young adults in to high-demand IT careers.

For Allante Jowers and Tristian Scarborough, the opportunity is one they don’t take lightly. Both are new technicians on the AskIT help desk — a first step in helping them to achieve their ultimate goals of owning their own business.

The graduates completed a 12-week program that involved intensive technical and professional training at Innovation Depot, and now “they are very eager to contribute and have already started using their skills learned in the program,” said Jason Johnson, associate director for AskIT.

Jowers, who is prepared to “carry (the opportunity) to the finish line,” aspires to merge his love for cooking and technology to create a business that innovates Birmingham. He was a UAB student at studying information systems and business management before enrolling in the program.

AskIT scarboroughTristian Scarborough said the training put his family’s life in a better position by creating a better direction for all of them.Scarborough, who served in the U.S. Air Force and studied mechanical engineering in North Carolina afterward, returned to Alabama to find an economic opportunity. With these certifications, “I finally found my niche and something I truly enjoy,” he said.

“This puts my life and family’s life in a better position by creating a better direction for all of us,” Scarborough said. He is still figuring out his next steps in life, but knows he wants to “push the limits as far as he can go.”

The inaugural class comprised 18 students, all from the Birmingham area. Other graduates secured job offers from companies including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama and Regions Bank. The Innovate Birmingham Workforce will train and prepare young adults to fill 925 high-wage jobs by 2021.