Pyramid Business Systems Helps Oaklanders Find Tech Jobs

From left to right: John Polk, project manager with Pyramid Business Systems; Jed Silver, president and CEO of Silver CDS, LLC; students in the Telecom Tech program- Brittany; Ron Smith; Deandre Jackson; Taj Jones-Kobayashi; and James Sullivan (kneeling), program instructor.

From left to right: John Polk, project manager with Pyramid Business Systems; Jed Silver, president and CEO of Silver CDS, LLC; students in the Telecom Tech program- Brittany; Ron Smith; Deandre Jackson; Taj Jones-Kobayashi; and James Sullivan (kneeling), program instructor.

When Brittany started attending the Pyramid Business Systems Telecom Tech program at Laney College this fall, she saw an opportunity to build her skills and find a job in tech, a field she already had an interest in.

In partnership with the Oakland Private Industry Council (PIC), the Pyramid Business Systems Telecom Tech program enrolled 15 students in August – all minority Oakland residents – equipping them with the skills to install wiring for phone and internet service to homes and businesses.

The program provides soft skills training for job seekers, teaching them about computer systems, cabling and wiring, and how to manage the networks that transmit information across the Bay Area.

Telecom Tech is just one of several programs available to clients at PIC, where job training, support and ultimately job placement and success is the end goal.

The Telecom Tech program guides students on team building, goal setting, time management and other desirable skills that employers seek. The program training funds are sponsored by the Oakland Workforce Investment Board’s (WIB) Dislocated Worker Additional Assistance Project (DWAAP).

“We help students navigate the process between landing a job and their job assessment,” said Jed Silver, president and CEO of Silver CDS, LLC and recruiter for the Telecom Tech program.

Twelve of the 15 students in the program were placed in jobs by the end of their training.

“We help employers get those individuals who have soft skills training. We attach actual employers to the program; that’s why it works,” said Silver.

Two influential figures in the industry are program instructor James Sullivan, who has worked at AT&T for over 30 years, and John Polk of Pyramid Business Systems, who has 42 years of experience in telecommunications.

Sullivan’s approach is hands-on – taking students to work sites where they put their newfound skills to use.

Two influential figures in the industry are program instructor James Sullivan, who has worked at AT&T for over 30 years, and John Polk of Pyramid Business Systems, who has 42 years of experience in telecommunications.

Taj Jones-Kobayashi does some cabling in an office building.

Taj Jones-Kobayashi does some cabling in an office building.

Sullivan’s approach is hands-on – taking students to work sites where they put their newfound skills to use.

“There’s a wide range of opportunities for me to use my knowledge in cabling and networking to get jobs in lots of places, not just office buildings,” said Taj Jones-Kobayashi, a student who will start working at AT&T this month.

“The most important part of my experience was learning something that seems complicated,” said Jones-Kobayashi. “It’s not impossible for you to learn.”

Another student, Ron Smith, will start working at Outsource, a company that works in the wiring industry.

“What we want to do is make them aware of where you can go and how many opportunities there are,” said Polk, who is also the project manager. “You can take it as far as you want to go with it.”

Richard de Jauregui, Director of Planning, Performance & Program Oversight at PIC, said, “This program was the first of our training to work initiatives that we are developing with local growth sector employers, most of whom are minority controlled. We are very grateful to John Polk and his staff for their cooperation and dedication in working with us for the benefit of our underserved clients.”

For more information, contact Jed Silver at (510) 214-5405 or jsilver@silvercds.com.