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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

National Guard chief says it took 3 hours for Pentagon to grant Jan. 6 request

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

William Walker, commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, will testify Wednesday that it took three hours and 19 minutes for Pentagon leadership to approve a request for National Guard assistance during the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, according to his prepared remarks.

Why it matters: The timeline over when National Guard requests were made and granted has been a key point of contention in congressional hearings examining the security failures surrounding the Capitol riots.

15 mins ago - World

International Criminal Court opens Israel-Palestine war crimes probe

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netnayahu has strongly objected to the investigation. Photo: Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Wednesday announced her intention to open an investigation into crimes allegedly committed in the Palestinian territories since 2014.

Why it matters: The investigation is expected to consider possible war crimes by Israel and Hamas during the 2014 war in Gaza, as well as the construction of West Bank settlements by Israel. It could sharply increase tensions between Israel, which fiercely opposes the probe, and Palestinian leaders, who requested it.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
53 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Exxon says it's well-positioned amid investor pressure

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

ExxonMobil said Wednesday that its oil-and-gas development plans will create good returns even at modest oil prices as the company looks to win back investor confidence after several rocky years.

Driving the news: The company, just ahead of an investor presentation this morning, said its investments are designed to generate returns of over 30% and touted its spending reductions.