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IBM Partners with National Guard and Non-Profit

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Technological skills are increasingly important in virtually every field, including military jobs.

And so IBM, one of the world's leading information technology companies, promised to hire two thousand US veterans over the next four years.  

"We just see that they bring a unique skill set to the work force that we want to take advantage of," said Timi Hadra, senior state executive for IBM for WV.

IBM teamed up with the 'West Virginia National Guard' and the non-profit 'Corporate America Supports You' for an IBM course for veterans based on a software program used to investigate fraud and criminal activity.

"This is just one program that we're doing to help provide skills to veterans that maybe they can find employment within IBM or maybe some of our corporate partners in public and private industry," Hadra said.

And the course is accelerated, which is a plus for some students.

"It's a great opportunity. First of all it's free and secondly you get the certification. And thirdly it's compressed. Normally they say it takes two weeks but here it's organized in one week," said Merhawi Tesfamariam, Army National Guard veteran and student.

Plus as West Virginia works to create more jobs, Major General Jim Hoyer, National Guard Adjutant General, said state residents have to show the world what they can do.

"This is an opportunity for the guard to show we have the talent and the skills to be out there on the cutting edge of national security and homeland security," he said. "We in the guard have been doing it for years but we need to get out and spread that word and let folks know we're a damn talented group of people in West Virginia if we just have a little bit of confidence in ourselves, we can conquer the world if we want to."

There are plans in the works for additional courses.

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