This is a paid community announcement from Finger Lakes ReUse. It was not written by The Ithaca Voice.

ITHACA, N.Y. — For many individuals considering a change in career or new career in IT, breaking into the field can feel like an insurmountable goal. Finger Lakes ReUse’s ReSET Technology program gives local people a starting point.

The ReSET (ReUse Skills and Employment Training) program offers free job skills training to local people, looking to improve their employment status, gain marketable skills and recent experience. Brightworks Computer Consulting was one of the first to provide volunteer assistance, including guest instruction and guaranteed interviews.

“By helping people develop skills and actually getting them lined up to work in the industry we are actually creating a pipeline of people who can do the job that we need done. That’s a huge benefit to us and other businesses,” Brightworks Computer Consulting founder John Guttridge explains. “One of the things we have observed over time is the academic programs that line people up for jobs in the IT industry are [lacking the skills developed through] direct hands on experience …”

ReSET Guest Instructor Meryl Bursic is heartened by the diversity represented across ReSET participants: “It’s really awesome seeing other underrepresented populations present. It is a challenge in IT… women in particular make up about 11% in the workforce. When you are constantly questioned, it can affect your performance, it can affect your confidence.”

ReSET Trainee, Demetrius Goree. (Photo by Sean Campbell)

Meryl added, “Skill can be developed by any person from any background with any ability, it’s just a matter of having a safe and inclusive environment. I think that ReSET provides that in our community. I would encourage more people to get involved.”

Many ReSET guest instructors are motivated to volunteer because they know the support needed to break into IT. Guest Instructor Chris Martin put it this way – “I know what it’s like trying to pivot a career and not having much guidance. (Volunteering) is being the sort of person I wish that I had when I was in the same circumstances.”

Supporting ReUse’s waste reduction efforts is also motivational.  The US produces more e-waste than any other country: 9.4 million tons annually and only 12.5% is recycled. E-waste makes up 2% of the waste stream, but 70% of the hazardous waste in landfills. Guest Instructor Nick Tubbs says, “With ReUse, you know that at least some of the products are being reused and brought back to life.“

ReSET is supported by revenues generated at Finger Lakes ReUse’s two ReUse Centers, Tompkins County Recycling & Materials Management Division, Triad Foundation, Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency, The Community Foundation of Tompkins County, and the Park Foundation. If you or your workplace would like to get involved, contact ReUse Training Director Anise Hotchkiss at Anyone interesting in applying to ReSET can find more information at The next ReSET Technology session begins August 27.

Featured image: Previous ReSET Trainee and current Brightworks Employee Brendan Hart-Nutter, tests WiFi modems with previous ReSET Trainee and current eCenter Program Assistant, Asia Cansler. (Photo by Sean Campbell)