West Virginia’s Apprenticeships in Motion program partnering with growing number of employers to build an IT workforce
In July 2019, West Virginia’s Community and Technical College System was awarded a nearly $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to establish a program that trains and places apprentices in information technology (IT) occupations, which are in increasingly high demand across the state. Today, this program – known as Apprenticeships in Motion, or AIM – is partnering with companies to meet their needs, put students on a path to career success, and grow West Virginia’s IT workforce. More than 15 companies are currently participating, and AIM is actively recruiting and accepting additional employers.
“This week is National Apprenticeship Week, and we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight the work we’re able to accomplish through this remarkable investment in West Virginia,” said Sarah Armstrong Tucker, West Virginia’s Chancellor for Higher Education. “We know apprenticeships work. Our students gain real on-the-job training, earning wages while they also earn their credentials. At the same time, employers are investing in a skilled workforce that will benefit them for years to come. On both sides, it’s a win-win.”
With priority for small businesses, AIM connects employers with students through the state’s nine community and technical colleges, allowing apprentices to take technical courses while gaining paid work experiences. The student pay is shared by the company and AIM, with students receiving a minimum of $12 per hour to work in an IT field, such as coding or cybersecurity.
Though job placement after graduation isn’t guaranteed, a similar program in West Virginia – the Learn and Earn program – often sees at least 90 percent of graduates being hired by the companies that train them.
“This is a smart investment for West Virginia businesses,” Tucker said. “Customized training and education create the right-skilled workers and save companies money in employee recruitment, training and retention. Apprenticeships also create a direct pipeline to middle- and high-skilled positions within a company, allowing incumbent workers to advance – and stay.”
Visit https://wvctcs.org/aim for a contact list of program coordinators representing each region of West Virginia and to learn more about how AIM connects businesses with IT apprentices.
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