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Midlands Technical College Builds Bridges to IT Career

  Ashlee Hayes

Ashlee Hayes, Midlands Technical College graduate


Midlands Technical College is committed to preparing students for rewarding careers in information (IT) technology. Through innovative training programs and financial support, students with little IT experience may be able to change their lives in a matter of months.

“My Midlands Tech experience has been a life-changer,” says Ashlee Hayes, a recent graduate of Midlands Technical College (MTC). Hayes is referring to Midlands TechHire, a program designed to build a pipeline of information technology (IT) talent in the Midlands that has taken Hayes’ career in an exciting and fulfilling new direction.

“I was working in a call center before, doing all types of customer service positions, and honestly, it was just a paycheck,” Hayes explains. “I wasn’t happy about going to work. I did it because I had to.”

Hayes was ready for a career change when she looked into the offerings at MTC and discovered Midlands TechHire.

Through Midlands TechHire, Hayes received scholarships, training and job opportunities in the high-growth IT field. “They paid a hundred percent for me to get my computer classes. They covered the books, and it came with a 12-week paid internship,” Hayes says. “By the time I finished my internship, I had three job offers.”

Hayes is currently working full time as an entry-level software developer and has a profitable future ahead of her.

“I can easily make at least $15,000 to $20,000 more [than I was before],” Hayes says. “That’s huge, something a lot of people in their lifetime never get to make.”

Hayes adds, “MTC is here to help you change your life. They have scholarships, they have financial aid counselors to help you. They also have skilled professors. Anyone who I ever took classes from at Midlands Tech is either working in their field now or worked in their field for years. So they know what they’re talking about.”

A single mom, Hayes credits her son Cameron with giving her the inspiration to step outside of the status quo and follow her dreams. “I want to be somebody that he’s going to be proud to see,” says Hayes. “How can I talk about chasing dreams and the importance of education and getting skills if I’m not doing anything to set that example?”

Midlands TechHire

Midlands Technical College (MTC) is building a pipeline of Information Technology (IT) talent for local industry through its Midlands TechHire program. Assisted by 24 grant partners, MTC offers scholarships, training and job opportunities for the high-growth IT field. Tuition, books, supplies and certification exams are covered at 100% if students are awarded a scholarship.

Rigorous, high-quality IT training is available through Midlands TechHire to young adults ages 17-29, as well as to a limited number of unemployed and underemployed workers in the Midlands area.

Midlands TechHire is fully funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The award amount received over a 4-year period is $4,000,000 and is effective from July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2020. Participants must be high school graduates and residents of Richland, Lexington or Fairfield counties.

Visit MIDLANDSTECH.EDU/learn for information on Academic and Training opportunities in Computer and Information Technology.