Lonnie Emard, President, IT-oLogy
Expanding IT Apprenticeships
2016 has been full of unprecedented efforts to expand apprenticeships in the US. The US Department of Labor has placed major emphasis on expansion and grant funding has been made available to fuel this growth. IT-oLogy is working closely with Apprenticeship Carolina, part of the SC Technical College System, to address the growth of apprenticeships in the field of Information technology. They received a $5 million grant initially and recently received an Accelerator grant to continue the fine work they started several years and now recognized as a national leader.
Information Technology is one of the new disciplines being emphasized because of the occupational demand for IT talent, which puts this right in the sweet spot for IT-oLogy. BlueCross BlueShield South Carolina has had the largest number of registered IT apprenticeships in the US for the past 6 years and, as one of the founders of IT-oLogy, has been sharing best practices. IT-oLogy has also found other IT organizations around the country that have begun IT apprenticeships and pulled many of them together to help support the DOL effort in Sectors of Excellence in Apprenticeship. IT-oLogy is one of only a few national intermediaries to be responding to an RFP to help expand registered apprenticeship and focus on diversity and underrepresented populations.
Apprenticeships have proven to be a differentiator when it comes to recruiting, developing and retaining talent in very tight labor markets like IT, where employers continue to find that the supply doesn’t meet demand. An apprenticeship differs from other programs because of the commitment between the employee and employer. This is a “learn and earn” model versus a more traditional internship which represents more of a “test drive”.
The Return on Investment (ROI) on apprenticeship programs is being documented by several companies, including BCBSSC, and IT-oLogy is right in the middle of the effort being led by the US Department of Commerce. In South Carolina, Apprenticeship Carolina, is also leading an effort on ROI as part of their grant to help employers recognize the full value of this proven workforce program.
On August 4, IT-oLogy, Apprenticeship Carolina, USDOL, South Carolina Council on Competitiveness, iTsSC and the National Governors Association are combining to host the first IT ApprenticeshipUSA Accelerator. Employers from all over South Carolina are being invited to this event to be held at IT-oLogy in Columbia. This will provide an in-depth workshop so that companies, whether small, medium or large, can determine how to take advantage of grant funds, tax credits and customized processes to start a registered apprentice program.
Join us on August 4 at IT-oLogy from 10am to 3pm.
Register here: http://itaccelerator.eventbrite.com