Welcome To SkillForge

SkillForge is a different kind of training company. Based just outside of Chicago, we deliver training to companies, institutions and individuals across North America. We believe that learning requires interaction and participation (you can’t ask questions when you’re watching a video!) We also believe that much of what a student learns happens after class is over – when they try out what they’ve learned in real-world situations. So in all of our classes, whether online or in-person, students always have access to an instructor – both during and after class. Our instructors are experts in their field with years of hands-on experience and multiple certifications in the subjects they teach. They have delivered training for many of the companies in the Fortune 500 and consistently receive outstanding ratings from their students.

About SkillForge

In all of our classes, we utilize a “Show, Do, Review” teaching methodology. Instructors demonstrate or “Show” students how to compete a specific task or concept, students then “Do” a hands-on practice or exercise to reinforce their learning and, finally, we “Review” to ensure all students understand before we move on.

Our Instructors are the heart of our company. Makes sense for a training company, right? We select only the best trainers to work with us and our clients. They have years of experience in the topics and software products they teach. But even more than that – they have a passion for, and genuine love of teaching. Learning from someone who loves teaching can mean the difference between a class that’s just ‘good’ and one that’s truly amazing!

We know that the learning process is only beginning while you are in class. The real challenge is using those skills once you return to work. For that reason we offer six months of instructor email support for most of our courses. We want to make sure you are successful with your new skills!

We know that online learning is fast becoming the most popular way for people to take a class. And we have a full schedule of public, open-enrollment online learning courses to match your needs. But we also know that sometimes you may want to train a large group of your employees, or have an instructor in the room to work directly with students. So we offer private group onsite and offsite training as well – at dozens of locations across the U.S.

What Our Students Say

I had a wonderful experience in the class. I had no experience with Crystal Reports at the beginning of the week and now I feel comfortable enough to create basic to intermediate reports all on my own. Joel was a wonderful instructor and provide real life feedback and training to better assist me with learning the new skills.

Kim Y., Aramco

With a low student/instructor ratio, I felt more like I was working with a personal tutor than just one of many in a large class. The instructor was super knowledgeable and personable. The entire class was very useful and enjoyable. This class was a very valuable use of my time.

Ken W., FM Industries

I learned a ton of information in two days, and appreciated our instructor’s enthusiasm for the program as well as his ability to answer questions clearly and offer examples. I asked a question that he did not know the answer to, and he did some research at the break and came back with a solution. I can visualize how my office could use Microsoft Project to more effectively manage projects, and I look forward to trying out the tools and shortcuts I’ve learned in class.

Amy F., Golden Gate Bridge Highway District

This was a very thorough class and the instructor was extremely knowledgeable and easy to follow. He was able to answer all my questions and provide relevant examples. I would highly recommend.

Ellen L., Advanced Testing Laboratory

I really enjoyed the Microsoft Access class. It was very informative and It was very easy to understand. It was great that it was a live instructor and Seth was able to answer questions on the spot. Seth was an awesome trainer and would highly recommend him!

Denise M., Fossil

Meet Our Team

Joel Wurffel
Joel WurffelFounder
Joel has held multiple roles in the IT Industry over the last 20 years, including Software Developer, Technical Trainer and Account Manager. After having worked for several other training companies, Joel decided it was time to strike out on his own. And in 2010, SkillForge was born. Joel currently works with clients to develop training solutions that will meet their needs, manages our amazing training team and sometimes still teaches a class when time allows!
Seth Bonder
Seth BonderSenior Instructor
Seth has been an IT instructor for over twenty years. His certifications include A+, Network+, A.C.E. in Photoshop and Illustrator, MOS/MOUS AI, and IC3. He holds a B.A. with Honors in TV/Radio from Brooklyn College/CUNY. An insatiable reader, with hobbies ranging from astronomy to paleontology and many more, he brings a wide range of experience and real-world, everyday examples to the class – all while doing his best to make class fun. Among other classes, Seth teaches Microsoft Office, Microsoft Project, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Crystal Reports, QlikView and Tableau.
Dave Kidd
Dave KiddInstructor
Dave has a Masters Degree in Education from the Keller Graduate School of Management. He also holds certifications from organizations such as CIW, CompTIA and Adobe. Dave has a passion for teaching and delivers fun and engaging classes in Web Development, HTML5, JavaScript and related Frameworks, CSS, XML, SQL and PHP among others. Dave’s previous teaching experience includes DeVry University and the Art Institute of Austin.
Donna Blumberg
Donna BlumbergInstructor
Donna has a Bachelors degree in Computer Science and over 20 years experience in the IT world. She has over 8 years experience teaching and has developed courses. She also has been a programmer, business analyst/tech writer and IT project manager and supervisor. Besides teaching, she now also builds and maintains accessible websites and coaches others on content development. She is always learning about new technologies and loves to share her knowledge with others.
Natalie Stennett
Natalie StennettInstructor
Natalie has been a Microsoft Certified Professional since 2011. She teaches a variety of courses including Microsoft Office, Adobe Applications, SharePoint and many others. Her enthusiasm for teaching and ability to explain concepts in an easy-to-understand way make her a favorite of her students!

Our Happy Clients