FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: James Easton, Montana Chamber Foundation, [email protected], 970-518-1579
Helena, Montana – The Montana Chamber Foundation wrapped up its month-long Community Skills Initiative Montana (CSI) free online UpSkill-A-Thon competition on November 16 at midnight. Designed to engage community members and help the workforce become more prepared, the UpSkill-A-Thon saw participants compete individually in two age categories, 16-24 years old and 25 years and older, and in teams of two to four people, with the top winners in each walking away with cash prizes totaling $10,500.
2022 UpSkill-A-Thon Winners
16-24 years old
$1,500 first place Chris Piccioni, Billings
$1,000 second place Ashton Losleben, Ronan
$600 third place Rachel Eliason, Billings
$400 fourth place Coltaon Oland, Billings
25 years and older
$1,500 first place Niusha Hadziomerovic, Kalispell
$1,000 second place Andrew Mulvaney, Helena
$600 third place Rennie Winkleman, St Ignatius
$400 fourth place Derek Houseworth, Kalispell
Teams of 2-4
$2,000 first place Kadin Dunn/Austin Janz, Billings
$1,500 second place Alicia Williams/RayLee Bierly, Missoula
CSI Montana, a collaboration with Microsoft Philanthropies, launched in collaboration with the Montana Chamber Foundation in October of this year. It aims to help jobseekers, professionals, and students gain new skills for in-demand roles in the digital economy via a suite of free online training courses accessed locally through a dedicated website: https://www.communityskilling.org/partner/montana.
“We are thrilled to be able to bring Montanans free and accessible digital forward education whether they be new to the workforce or transitioning to a new career,” said James Easton, Workforce Specialist with the Montana Chamber Foundation. “Further, these skills can be used in all aspects of their lives.”
“I would recommend for others to try this program and take the classes. I liked how the lessons were engaging and not boring. You will learn a lot from them,” said Andrew Mulvaney, an UpSkill-A-Thon 2022 participant.
Although the UpSkill-A-Thon competition is over, the skilling opportunities will continue. All courses through the CSI Montana website are free and available in English and Spanish through November 2023 at https://www.communityskilling.org/partner/montana.
“The Montana Chamber of Commerce is working with the Montana Chamber Foundation to ensure economic opportunity for all,” said Todd O’Hair, president & CEO. “CSI Montana is a tool that provides skills to unemployed and underemployed workers at the community level, and we are proud to have been selected as one of ten states to pilot this program.”
Local employers, teachers, and churches are encouraged to share the CSI website as a resource for online training and upskill opportunities. Anyone can tap into the learning pathways and courses, including employers or individuals.