Sep 25, 2019

Apprenticeship programs help workers re-skill

From left: Reggie Harden; Ryan Reed; Dolica Gopisetty. Photos: Accenture, IBM, AWS

Apprenticeship programs are no longer just for plumbers and electricians. They are an increasingly popular way to groom workers for technical roles.

Why it matters: A number of metro areas (and suburbs) are leveraging their community colleges to create a pipeline of workers in tandem with wooing companies to set up shop there. Apprenticeships are more frequently part of those efforts.

  • I talked to 3 tech workers who've completed programs run by different tech companies.

Reggie Hardin, 44, of San Antonio completed a 3-month Accenture apprenticeship after a 20-year Air Force career. He found the program through a local nonprofit that focuses on mid-career skills training. Soon after, Accenture hired him as a full-time employee as a Salesforce developer.

Ryan Reed, 38, of Raleigh wanted tech training after injuries forced him to retire from a 15-year career as a firefighter and paramedic. He struck out trying to find entry-level tech jobs without a degree, and he stumbled on a 12-month IBM apprenticeship in software programming. The pay and benefits were essential for him to support his 4 children while learning new skills. He's now a full-time IBM employee.

Dolica Gopisetty, 21, of Fairfax is a senior at George Mason University studying IT. She wants to get a job in cloud computing so she enrolled in AWS Educate, a noncredit training program the company helped develop at Virginia colleges to pick up specialized skills.

  • "It's not just about your degree, it's also about the skills you can learn on top of that to stand out from other applicants," she said.

Why you'll hear about this again: Apprenticeships allow companies to continuously adjust what and how they are teaching to fit current needs in factories, IT departments or data centers.

  • It also gives companies a way to create jobs in parts of the country where tech jobs are scarce. IBM, for example, offers apprenticeships in West Virginia, Missouri, Iowa and Louisiana.

What to watch: The rise of apprenticeships and in-house "academies" mean companies may rely less on traditional colleges to supply talent. That opens an opportunity for cities to tie school with employment as they try to attract and keep employers.

Go deeper

The wreckage of summer

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We usually think of Memorial Day as the start of the summer, with all of the fun and relaxation that goes with it — but this one is just going to remind us of all of the plans that have been ruined by the coronavirus.

Why it matters: If you thought it was stressful to be locked down during the spring, just wait until everyone realizes that all the traditional summer activities we've been looking forward to are largely off-limits this year.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,410,228 — Total deaths: 345,105 — Total recoveries — 2,169,005Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,643,499 — Total deaths: 97,722 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The CDC is warning of potentially "aggressive rodent behavior" amid a rise in reports of rat activity in several areas, as the animals search further for food while Americans stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic.

By the numbers: More than 97,700 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 366,700 Americans have recovered and more than 14.1 million tests have been conducted.