UCF has received generous donations from JPMorgan Chase and Microsoft Corporation for a new online job skills training program designed to assist pandemic-displaced workers in Central Florida.

The UCF ChargeUP! program is geared toward residents who lost full-time jobs in the hospitality or leisure industries. The program offers professional development training from Microsoft Learn and LinkedIn Learning, as well as one-on-one support from career coaches on resume and cover letter writing, professional profile creation and job interviewing. The program will conclude with employment connections to an array of Central Florida and national companies.

The program is entirely self-paced, with classes offered virtually and on-demand. The first session will begin July 26 and focus on customer service and sales. Additional program deliveries will be offered in the months ahead. There is no cost to participate.

JPMorgan Chase and Microsoft together donated $550,000 to support the skills training program, which will be delivered through UCF’s Division of Continuing Education in partnership with gener8tor, a startup accelerator company.

As the impacted workforce looks to reenter the recovering local economy, which as of May 2021 stands at a 5.4% unemployment rate, they can broaden their skills and prepare to be competitive applicants for in-demand jobs. Workers in the hospitality and leisure industries faced the hardest impacts from the pandemic, according to the Brookings Institute.

“As we recover from the challenges of the last year, it’s critical that our workforce is provided with the resources and opportunities they need to fill key jobs and keep our economy strong,” says Sean Armstrong, executive director of UCF Continuing Education. “This is a welcome boost, and we’re grateful to our partners for helping job seekers in our community.”

“Central Florida has been hard hit by job losses in the hospitality and tourism sectors. We are pleased to partner with UCF to offer free online training and support for displaced workers looking to reenter the workforce or transition to new careers,” says Lori Beer, global chief information officer for JPMorgan Chase.

“Now, more than ever, digital skills are essential for job seekers; they are the new currency for opportunities in today’s increasingly digital economy,” says Naria Santa Lucia, Microsoft’s general manager for Digital Inclusion and U.S. Community Engagement. “That’s why we are supporting UCF and gener8tor’s work to make training more accessible for those looking to acquire new skills.”

Central Florida residents interested in participating may contact UCF Continuing Education at 407-882-0260 or ceprograms@ucf.edu.