Cook County Partners with Microsoft and National Able Network to Launch Free Tech Training Program for County Veterans

The 7-week program helps place veterans in tech industry jobs upon completion

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle joined County officials and representatives from National Able Network to announce the launch of the Chicago Cook Technology Academy (Tech Academy) today. This free 7-week program, fully funded and run by Cook County, provides veterans with critical career skills in the technology industry.

“Ensuring veterans in Cook County are afforded equitable access to quality jobs is essential,” said President Preckwinkle. “I am incredibly grateful and admire those who have served this nation. Thank you to Microsoft and National Able Network for partnering with the County to offer this great opportunity for County veterans to receive training in an industry that is thriving.”

The Tech Academy programming is based on curriculum developed for Microsoft’s Software and Systems Academy and has been donated by Microsoft at no cost to Cook County. This is the second region in the nation to offer this programming. The Tech Academy is available to all qualifying veterans but is tailored for service members transitioning out of the military.

“More than 200,000 military members leave military service every year, yet hundreds of thousands of jobs remain unfilled in the IT industry because we don’t have enough people with tech training,” said Microsoft’s Vice President of Military Affairs Chris Cortez. “Veteran skilling programs like the Tech Academy equip this adaptable and resilient workforce to transition from military service into the tech careers that are in greatest demand.”

Participants are trained in cloud development or cloud administration by National Able Network’s IT Career Lab expert instructors and upon completion will have the opportunity to interview for a full-time position in entry level IT fields with the Cook County Department of Veterans Affairs’ network of IT hiring partners.

“National Able Network is excited for the opportunity expand on our legacy of service to the veteran community by launching the Chicago Cook Technology Academy in partnership with Cook County and Microsoft,” said National Able Network President Matt Weis. “This initiative is an important step towards ensuring area veterans are prepared to enter the IT workforce and obtain family-sustaining careers in one of the county’s fastest growing industries. With continued support from our partners and the business community, the Technology Academy will provide veterans with the opportunity to learn in-demand technical skills, earn certifications and transition into employment with local businesses in need of qualified talent.”     

Veterans who live in Chicago or suburban Cook County are encouraged to apply for the Tech Academy, which is hosting five sessions through 2024. Twelve students are in the first training session that began on October 19, 2022. The next class offering will be in spring 2023.

Cook County allocated $750,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funding to launch this program.

For more information about the Tech Academy, visit:


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