Donations of laptops,  will enable MTC to sustain, adapt and expand its  workforce readiness programming during and after the coronavirus outbreak to meet the growing need for job training programs among high school graduates and newly unemployed citizens with disabilities. Laptops will be loaned to students enrolled in MTC’s educational certification based programs.

MTC offers solutions to the challenge of re-employment for County residents with disabilities in a post-COVID-19 economy.  Training and certification courses equip graduates to meet the growing demand for skilled professionals in technology, manufacturing, and healthcare/hospitality.

MTC’s job training and certification programs are more critical than ever, as Hillsborough County residents with disabilities will re-enter a hyper-competitive job market after the COVID-19 crisis has passed. In its April 10, 2020 report on the impact of COVID-19, the Tampa Bay Partnership stated that “individuals with a disability may…be disproportionately affected by social distancing and stay-at-home measures, as well as potential job loss.”

One quarter (500,000) of Tampa Bay households include one or more residents with a disability, higher than state and national averages. The post-pandemic jobless rate for citizens with disabilities is expected to mirror that of the Great Recession (2007), running 10% or higher than the national unemployment rate, meaning that 25% of County residents with disabilities, representing 125,000 households, will be unemployed.

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, MTC accelerated its long-range plan to offer virtual learning opportunities. When on-site programs were suspended on March 13, 2020, MTC’s Education and Employment teams quickly designed and delivered MTC’s vocational education and employment placement programs online. Web-based instruction was launched on March 30, 2020, enabling students to maintain progress toward globally recognized industry-based training and certifications using virtual platforms such as Google Classroom.

With this training and education, MTC students are positioned for success in a diverse workplace, empowered to break the cycle of poverty and to achieve full employment in meaningful careers earning competitive salaries. MTC steps in where federal benefits end, offering a bridge from dependence on poverty-level fixed income to employment training for career advancement and financial independence. The shared value of radical inclusion guides the organization and informs program development and community engagement and advocacy.