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The Thought Leader: 3 reasons to future-proof your career with Upskill-A-Thon

The job market continues to evolve, and the digital economy demands more workers. While it’s easy to feel left behind, we’re here to encourage you that it’s never too late to grow! Free community resources are available so you can become confident in your skill set.

United Way Fox Cities has received funding from Microsoft Philanthropies to launch a new, FREE program called Community Skills Initiative (CSI) Wisconsin. CSI helps job seekers and professionals gain new skills for in-demand roles. All you need to do is register to get started on LinkedIn courses that offer digital skills, soft skills, or essential role-based skills.

The cornerstone of the Community Skills Initiative is an Up-Skill-A-Thon competition. The competition will run from now until March 31, 2023, and will include $10,000 in total prize money*. While the competition ends March 31, free courses will be available through February 1, 2024.


Why should you participate in Upskill-A-Thon?

  1. Anyone age 16 and up can access free career training.

According to LinkedIn, the most in-demand hard skill in 2023 is software development and the most in-demand soft skill is management. Those topics and others including Microsoft 365, time management, digital literacy, and more are all available for free through CSI.

Maybe you’re experiencing a setback from an employment gap or career change. Or maybe you’re reaching for a promotion at your current organization. For individuals 16 and up, there are no prerequisites to participate in CSI, and each certification gives your resume the competitive edge your current (or future) company cannot live without.

  1. Gain workforce skills on your own schedule.

CSI provides the flexibility needed in this busy life. Upskill at your own pace from your own home, or on the go!

All CSI courses are available in English or Spanish and can be viewed via smartphone, tablet, desktop, or laptop.

  1. Win cash prizes for learning!

The Upskill-A-Thon competition awards points for every completed course. The more you learn, the more you earn.

Participants can register to compete in one of three categories: 

  • 16-24 years old 
  • 25 – 49 years old 
  • 50+ years old 

Cash prizes for each category include: 

  • $1,500 for first place 
  • $1,000 for second place 
  • $600 for third place 
  • $250 for fourth place 


Get started now by visiting https://www.communityskilling.org/partner/wisconsin.

*Participants 16 years of age or older who also live in Brown, Outagamie, Calumet and Winnebago counties are eligible to join the Upskill-A-Thon challenge through March 31, 2023. Others may take advantage of the free training through February 1, 2024, but will not be eligible for cash prizes.


By Jaime Rashid, Associate Director of Marketing, United Way Fox Cities 

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