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Published on May 16, 2016

You’d be surprised at all the events Housatonic hosts and plans for the student body. Afterall, the college staff cares a lot about the alumni.

On Monday, May 2, a program called FORWARD hosted an IT, or Information Technology, Career Fair at HCC. There were many internships and job opportunities for students pursuing the IT field. This career fair was filled with potential employers looking for prospective young adults to bring into their businesses.

HCC’s FORWARD program is funded by the United States Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training  grant program (TAACCCT).

FORWARD provides non-credit and credit training to unemployed individuals and veterans looking to join the workforce in healthcare and IT such as: Medical Assisting, Health Career Pathways, Nursing Assistants, Patient Care Technicians, Professional Coders, and Community Health Workers.

For more computer-oriented jobs, the credit programs under FORWARD are: Computer Information Systems, Certificates in Computer Repair, Web Design, and CompTIA  A+ Network/Security Certifications. They also offer academic support in reading, writing, and mathematics. There’s plenty of hands on training, career counseling, resume writing, interview skills, and so on.

One successful and determined young man named Brenol Silea did an IT internship through FORWARD when he was a student as HCC. Because of FORWARD, he is now a computer programmer and web developer at People’s Bank headquarters in Bridgeport. He works full time and has been a part of the company for a year and five months.

He loves what he does. “I’m not actually working. It’s perfect work for me,” Silea says.

He’s currently taking classes at the University of Bridgeport as a computer science major and his internship paid mostly or all of his tuition.

“It was awesome, I stayed for four months, and they hired me after two months,” says Silea about his internship. His passion for computer technology literally turned into his future and he’s lucky to experience that because not many people get to love what they work for.

A word of advice Silea gives people: “If you really enjoy what you do, just do the best you can. Practice because people around you will notice your efforts.”

His outstanding efforts are what landed him his dream job.  He was a student here at HCC when his professor introduced him to FORWARD.

“I was doing my best in school,” says Silea.

He put in his dedication and HCC gave him an awesome opportunity in return.