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New Coraopolis-based tech school geared to veterans

| Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, 9:34 p.m.

A new technical school in Coraopolis geared toward transitioning veterans and other job seekers is scheduled to begin offering classes early next year.

The Victory Tech Learning Studio, under parent company Coraopolis-based Victory Media Inc., will offer its students programs focusing on STEM, or science, technology, engineering and math, training. A grand opening celebration was held last week near the corner of Fifth Avenue and Mill Street.

Victory Media Inc. was founded in 2001 by three Navy veterans to help market the military community to corporate America. The company spent about $600,000 to establish Victory Tech.

Victory Media Inc. chairman and Sewickley resident Chris Hale said the idea for Victory Tech began years ago. Through research, he said they found there are many positions in tech-related fields that have gone unfilled because employers cannot find people who are qualified.

“(Most) people who are unemployed don't have the skills to fill those positions,” Hale said.

“Universities are filled with degrees that don't lead to rapid employment.”

Hale said Victory Tech will provide its students with the skills essential to obtaining their ideal tech-related job. He said although the program is open to anyone searching for better employment opportunities, it is an especially good fit for transitioning veterans.

“(Veterans) have an unbelievable level of skill, but sometime not a great understanding of how to translate (those skills) to a civilian job,” Hale said.

Victory Tech President Daniel Nichols agreed. A former Navy chaplain who also created job training programs through the U.S. Department of Labor and in the private sector, said he has had conversations with a number of service members who worried about what they would do following their time in the military.

“They would say, ‘What happens when I get home? What happens next?'” Nichols said.

Victory Tech will offer full, 15-month programs, as well as apprenticeships and other shorter programs. Classes are scheduled to begin in January.

Staff writer Thomas Olson contributed to this report. Kristina Serafini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1405 or kserafini@tribweb.com.

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