NoVA Technology Council Commitment

Northern Virginia Technology Council Commitment to Grow the Number of Tech Apprenticeships in the Region. NVTC celebrates National Apprenticeship Week 2022 and reinvigorates apprenticeship to help close skills gaps.

Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC), the trade association representing the region’s technology community, announced a commitment to significantly increase the number of technology apprentices over the next three years to help fill the area’s 130,000 open tech jobs. The announcement will be made at BuildWithin’s Apprenticeship Summit during National Apprenticeship Week and signals NVTC’s strategic promise to infuse the next generation of talent into the region’s technology workforce through apprenticeship – the gold-standard of work-based learning.

“Our nation only graduates 97,000 computer science degrees a year, so employers are now seeking tech talent in non-traditional ways, such as apprenticeship. Apprenticeship opens the door of possibilities by providing on-the-job training for people without college degrees,” said Jennifer Taylor, president and CEO, NVTC. “I am excited to work with partners who will educate regional employers on how to weave apprenticeship programs into their talent acquisition efforts and create high-performing workforces.”

Historically, apprenticeship has served as an effective learning pathway for blue-collar trades. Now evolved to become a valuable hiring resource in the technology sector. Today, a growing number of tech companies in the National Capital Region realize the benefits of apprenticeship.  Hiring apprentices to fill in-demand roles in cloud computing, cyber, mainframe, software engineering, data science, digital marketing..

Talent Acquisition Strategy

Apprenticeship is an untapped talent acquisition strategy and NVTC will now serve as a resource to help employers learn:

  • The benefits and ROI of apprenticeship,
  • How to offer apprenticeships either on their own, or through regional apprentice providers, and
  • How to access grant funding.

In 2023, NVTC will host both virtual and in-person educational events and networking sessions to drive greater adoption and growth of apprenticeships, through the NVTC Filling the Tech Talent Gap Community of Interest.

Leading tech employers in Virginia ranging from Fortune 100 companies to startups have already reaped the benefits of offering tech apprenticeships. PenFed Credit Union is one of several NVTC members that has hired tech apprentices as part of the IBM zSystems Mainframe Program, delivered by Franklin Apprenticeships.

Smoothstack, a provider of merit-based career paths, has hired, trained, and deployed over 200 apprentices to Fortune 500 companies in the region since August 2020.

In addition, Phone2Action, a tech startup in Rosslyn, VA offered its first apprenticeship in 2013, and by 2020, 130 individuals graduated from its pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs in IT roles. Then in 2022, Phone2Action founder, Ximena Hartstock founded BuildWithin to scale tech apprenticeships nationwide.

In 2022, NVTC hired its first apprentice in a digital marketing role.

“With the global shortage of technical talent, our apprenticeship program is hugely important to us, especially in mainframe computing, which powers core processing of 70% of financial transactions in the US,” said James Schenck, president and CEO, PenFed Credit Union and NVTC Board Member. “Apprenticeship aligns with our PenFed culture. We look for people to join us for the long haul. So hiring apprentices and developing them through work-based learning is a great strategy.”

“We are excited to join forces with NVTC to create and expand apprenticeship programs throughout Northern Virginia,” said Ximena Hartsock. “Apprenticeships benefit everyone involved, as companies can establish and grow a loyal employee base, workers can open new doors of opportunity, and cities can foster economic mobility. This is truly where the new workforce strategy is headed.”

“Apprenticeship isn’t just about training for the needs of today, but about creating the next generation of successful technology leaders prepared to take on the challenges of the future,” said John Akkara, CEO of Smoothstack. “As one of the largest apprenticeship programs in the nation for IT jobs, we’ve seen many of our alumni fast-tracked into leadership roles with Fortune 500 companies. Our intensive 12-week simulated real-world apprenticeship provides our graduates with not only two-three years of industry equivalent experience, but the ability to think critically, manage risk and change, communicate effectively, and take on a strategic view.”

NVTC will collaborate with the following regional providers. Apprenticeship and other work-based learning programs to encourage companies to offer employer-sponsored apprenticeships.

To learn more about National Apprenticeship Week, please visit https://www.apprenticeship.gov/national-apprenticeship-week.

About the Northern Virginia Technology Council

NVTC is the trade association representing the Northern Virginia technology community. NVTC serves companies from all sectors of the industry. Small businesses and start-ups to Fortune 100 technology companies. Government contractors, as well as service providers, academic institutions, and nonprofit organizations. More than 450 members look to the organization as a resource for networking and educational opportunities. Peer-to-peer communities, policy advocacy, and industry promotion. Fostering of strategic relationships, and branding of the region as a major global technology center. Learn more at http://www.nvtc.org. Technology Council Commitment.

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