National Fund Community Launches IT Apprenticeship Program
A new apprenticeship program to meet the Birmingham IT industry’s demand for credentialed and experienced workers
Washington, DC – May 24, 2019 – Central Six AlabamaWorks! is launching the first officially registered software development apprenticeship in the state of Alabama this month. Central Six is one of five grantees of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions’ efforts to expand local workforce capacity, funded by the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.
The Birmingham region experienced the second-fastest IT job growth in the country during the first half of 2016. To meet the industry’s demand for credentialed and experienced workers, Central Six will develop Alabama’s first IT apprenticeship to help close the skills gap for employers by training apprentices for careers in software development.
“Apprenticeship programs are expanding nationwide, innovatively addressing the skills gap needs,” said Antiqua Cleggett, executive director of Central Six. “The registered apprenticeship model has been successful in other industries, including construction and manufacturing, but the concept is relatively new to the IT field. These apprentices will receive progressive wages as their skill set increases and receive a National Certificate of Apprenticeship at the completion of the program that is transferable to anywhere in the U.S. As a result, apprenticeship programs like this benefit both the employer and apprentice alike, by growing talent and increasing a person’s quality of life.”
Protective Life Corp. and Sigao Studios are the first two employer partners of the IT apprenticeship program. These are the businesses where the apprentices will work full-time for roughly 15 months to complete the IT apprenticeship.
Central Six’s training partner in this effort is Innovate Birmingham. Innovate Birmingham will launch a free, 14-week software engineering bootcamp that will serve as a pre-apprenticeship training program. After completing the bootcamp, students will have the opportunity to be interviewed and selected for the IT apprenticeship program.
“We are really excited to see our sites take the next step in building up the local workforce to meet industry needs,” said Ana Hageage, program director at the National Fund. “Central Six is demonstrating that industry-driven workforce initiatives can transform the local workforce and expand opportunities for low skill workers into new areas of expertise that can allow them to transition into careers with family sustaining wages.”
The IT apprenticeship program is a joint effort between Central Six, Innovate Birmingham, employer partners, Apprenticeship Alabama and the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship.