Rolling Out

Infoblox’s technology certification program partners with WCCC to benefit Black students in Detroit

Infoblox's technology certification program partners with WCCC to benefit Black students in Detroit
James William Reede III. Photo Credit: Porsha Monique for Rolling Out

Infoblox Inc. is the leader in cloud-first networking and security, and they recently announced plans to conduct a second pilot of its Diverse Student Certification with Wayne County Community College District (WCCCD) in Detroit, Michigan. As part of their commitment to increase the representation of women and minorities in the tech sector, the pilot program will allow up to 20 students to participate in an Infoblox instructor-led training course held at Wayne County Community College’s. Infoblox is fully funding the cost of the training for participants.

Rolling out sat down with James William Reed III, Customer Success Manager for Northeast and Southeast large enterprise accounts at Infoblox to discuss their IDSCP technology certification program.

Give us an overview of the program.

I’ve  been with the company for about 10 months now. What initially attracted me to the company is that I used to work in the pharmaceutical industry. When I interviewed with company, they said said this is an opportunity to actually impact change. That’s important to me. That’s why I initially joined Infoblox. 

 This program is only one of the things that we’ve done. For Black History Month, we had Dr. Bernice A. King, Dr. King’s daughter give a keynote. We had two surgeons, one works on Biden’s cancer task force team, but we also just donated $10,000 to the Oakland Youth Development Center and revamped their entire computer lab. We’re actually really doing impactful things. 

What is your role with the company?

I handle everything post-sale. So that entails any renewal opportunities, any up-selling, cross-selling, etc. I make the customers happy and keep ’em happy. It’s expensive to acquire new customers. It’s easier to retain them. So, being like their liaison, point of contact, right-hand man. That’s what I am. 

I’m also co-president of our Black Employee Resource Group.

How does this program affects the youth?

As you may know, the tech industry is only made up of a very small percentage of Black and brown people. Infoblox’s Diverse Student Certification Program will get you in the [tech industry] door. And with these certifications, starting salaries start out at six figures, for simply having a certification. 

A lot of people my age or from my background, we don’t have the exposure or the experience or the connections. So, these certifications make that all possible. 

 What type of students would be interested in the certification? 

We’re looking at students with a computer background, specifically network security, cybersecurity, or network administration. It’s not easy stuff by any standard, but we have good instructors that will teach you and get you where you need to be. 

Is this program geared towards Black and brown students? 

That’s who we’re targeting. But we’re also focusing on HBCUs, and HSIs, so Hispanic Speaking Institutions or Hispanic Serving Institutions. 

How many certifications do you have available for this program? 

There are two valued at $5,400 each. We’re giving it to the students for free. 

Where can people find more information about this program? 

On our website, and I think we have a link on our BERG (Black Employee Resource Group) website. 

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