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CTA’s Apprenticeship Coalition


At CES 2019, IBM’s Ginni Rometty announced the launch of the CTA Apprenticeship Coalition. Last month, the Coalition met in Washington, DC, for the day-long Design Thinking Workshop with apprenticeship leaders such as the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Ghazi Associates, IBM and Jobs for the Future sharing best practices to help Coalition members get started.

In 2017, IBM launched its apprenticeship program. Working with the DOL, the company went from conception to launching a cohort of six people to hiring 200 apprentices in the first year of the program. This year, IBM plans to enroll 450 new apprentices — individuals from all walks of life who are transitioning from careers in nursing, the service industry and U.S. military to systems engineers and blockchain specialists.

Through the CTA Apprenticeship Coalition, IBM is sharing its guides for how to create an apprenticeship program for roles including software engineer, data analyst and cybersecurity analysts from the ground up. The goal is to scale tech-related apprenticeships to help close the U.S. skills gap.

Learn a Skill Without Debt

The Coalition is comprised of more than two dozen companies and will provide pathways to tech jobs in all parts of the country — from Kansas to Michigan to Texas — not just traditional coastal tech hubs. One of the many benefits of apprenticeships is individuals can access a learning experience similar to college but without the debt.

“It’s very refreshing to have a trade association bring so much energy to the important task of training today’s workers in roles generated from the digital revolution such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing jobs brought on by the technological revolution,” said David Barnes, vice president, global workforce policy, IBM.

Not only is there an urgent need for U.S. companies to and skilled talent, there are few tech job training programs at the federal level. Less than one percent of DOL registered apprenticeships are focused on tech jobs. Fortunately, DOL is actively working to expand the number of available apprenticeships in new and growing industries such as hospitality, nursing and technology. Between 2014 and 2018, the Department saw a 71% growth in apprenticeships — a 20-year high.

Thanks to A&K Robotics,, Amazon Web Services, BloomBoard, BOSCH, Digital Creative Institute, Ford Motor Company, Franklin Apprenticeships, Microsoft, OpenClassrooms, OperationsInc, Phone2Action, SoftBank Robotics, Sprint and TeamPeople for attending and for working together to train America’s workers for the jobs of the future.

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