SEATTLE, Sept. 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA), today announced the US Department of Labor has awarded its registered tech apprenticeship program, Apprenti, a $7.5 million ApprenticeshipUSA contract to expand nationwide. Apprenti was the only program selected to address the growing talent needs of the tech industry as a part of the federal government's historic $20.4 million investment in apprenticeship. This contract makes Washington State a national model for registered tech apprenticeship as Apprenti scales its best practices to recruit, train, and place new tech workers across the US. The program focuses on bridging the skills and diversity gap within the nation's tech sector by giving underrepresented groups including women, minorities, and veterans a path and a plan for a successful career in this high wage, rapid growth industry.
"Washington state's diverse economy is built on innovation and continues to be a hub for the rapidly growing national and global technology ecosystem. We're proud to be leading the charge to ensure that Americans will have the skills and access that they need to succeed in a 21st century economy, while delivering our companies the talent they need to grow and thrive," said Gov. Jay Inslee.
Nearly every modern business across all sectors needs people with technology skills. Recruitment of tech talent across the country is booming with demand growing at a rate twice as fast as other industries. For example, experts from The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecast a surge of over 1.3 million new computer programming and computer support specialist jobs by 2022. As their need grows, companies are also struggling to increase diversity among its workforce. Less than twenty percent of the tech workforce is female, less than three percent is Hispanic or African American, and there are an even smaller number of veterans. Apprenti taps into this overlooked talent pool by assisting those under represented in the tech sector. Once accepted, the program provides them with two to four months of certified technical training followed by one year of full-time, paid, on-the-job training with one of Apprenti's many hiring partners like Microsoft, F5 Networks and Accenture.
To facilitate its nationwide expansion, Apprenti will form a National Registered Tech Apprenticeship Committee with representatives from top companies across the primary sectors within the industry including TeleCom, SaaS, cloud, hardware, and more. This committee of influential corporate tech leaders will be tasked with informing Apprenti in the creation of job taxonomy for apprenticeable jobs in-demand across the country. These companies will be committed to hiring apprentices through the program, which will lay the foundation of an employer driven model. Apprenti will engage directly with the committee and a broad network of large national tech employers to expand into states based upon where they express their greatest need for apprentices. Microsoft and Accenture have already signed on to participate nationally in these hiring and outreach efforts. These activities will provide a much-needed national structure for employers to identify critical tech workforce needs and challenges that can be addressed through industry-driven apprenticeships.
"Millions of dollars being invested at the federal level in the Apprenti program validates the effectiveness of the registered apprenticeship model we have created for the tech industry. We will work tirelessly to expand this model on a national scale to bring new job opportunities to the underrepresented while delivering the tech skills our country needs," said Jennifer Carlson, Executive Director, Apprenti.
Propelling Apprenti onto the national stage signifies progress towards Congress' goal of doubling and diversifying Registered Apprenticeship nationwide made possible due to bipartisan support for ApprenticeshipUSA. This year, Congress set aside $90 million to support this comprehensive set of strategies designed to expand job opportunities by collaborating with industry partners, like the WTIA, to streamline paths for standing up Registered Apprenticeship programs in key industries and occupations.
"I am so glad to see Washington Technology Industry Association building on the successful launch of their innovative apprenticeship program in Washington state, and this contract will help it fill jobs that are in demand in every sector of the economy," Senator Murray said. "These models show the way forward for apprenticeship programs in today's economy, and I applaud WTIA for their leadership."
"Our tech economy in Washington state is growing, but we still need more skilled workers to compete in the global economy and ship products," Senator Cantwell said. "Winning this contract will help us train hundreds of new tech workers in Washington state and across the country."
Our country has vast untapped, locally based human resources, and Apprenti is designed to help employers tap them more effectively. Employers are strongly encouraged to get involved in Apprenti, reach out to inform them of hiring needs, and disclose where the program can best deliver talent to meet demand. If your company would like to join in the groundbreaking work of building a nationwide registered tech apprenticeship model or if you're interested in becoming a founding member of US tech apprenticeship committee, please contact Jennifer Carlson at https://apprenticareers.org/staff-member/jennifer-carlson/.
To learn more about current Apprenti apprenticeship opportunities, please visit www.ApprentiCareers.org.
Apprenti is a registered apprenticeship program powered by the Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) and run by the WTIA Workforce Institute. Apprenti trains future tech workers with an emphasis on underrepresented groups including women, minorities, and veterans. Apprenti is an industry recognized, state accredited program. Apprentices will receive two to four months of full-time, industry recognized training then begin one-year of paid on-the-job training with one of the program's hiring partners. The program is partially funded through both a ApprenticeshipUSA contract and grant from the American Apprenticeship Initiative (AAI) from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), with support from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I), and JP Morgan Chase. For more information on how to apply, donate or become a hiring partner, please visit www.ApprentiCareers.org.
About the WTIA
The Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) is a non-profit trade group. The primary mission of the WTIA is helping Washington residents gain access to high-wage tech-industry jobs. The WTIA acts as an independent, unifying voice to motivate industry, education and government peers to collaborate effectively and also uses group buying power to help tech companies grow profitably. The WTIA group includes the 501c6 WTIA Member Trade Association, the 501c3 WTIA Workforce Institute, and the 501c9 WTIA Voluntary Employees' Beneficiaries Association. Apprenti is a program operated by the WTIA Workforce Institute.