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IT orgs team up on apprenticeships, aiming to diversify tech pipeline – HR Dive

Dive Brief:

  • Managed services provider SNS Technologies has joined CompTIA Apprenticeships for Tech, an initiative to expand and diversify the information technology workforce, particularly by providing career opportunities for women, people with disabilities and people of color.
  • The apprenticeship program was developed by CompTIA, a leading IT industry association, and Maher & Maher, a talent development firm. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor.  
  • SNS Technologies is a South Carolina-based company that provides a variety of IT services to small- and medium-sized businesses and healthcare providers. “Our goal at SNS Technologies is to be the best and most reliable technology provider in the area,” said Mike Ray, the company’s owner, in a Sept. 27 statement. “We know that the more educated our technicians are, the better our support will be, which is why we are very excited about this program.”

Dive Insight:

In providing needed training and paying for time spent learning, apprenticeship programs are one avenue to increasing diversity especially for industries that struggle to diversify representation among workers. According to career site Zippia’s data science team, nearly three-quarters of IT workers are men and 61% are White. The majority also hold a Bachelor’s degree. 

The partnership follows a $40 million commitment the U.S. Department of Labor made in March toward apprenticeships that prioritize diversity initiatives. The Biden Administration signaled its support for registered apprenticeships in February, when the president endorsed Congressman Bobby Scott’s National Apprenticeship Act of 2021 an initiative that stalled after passing the House and reinstated the National Advisory Committee on Apprenticeships. 

Bolstering the diversity pipeline of talent to tech has been a priority for companies as the talent crunch and anticipated future demand has collided with increased attention toward DEI initiatives. 

In August, attention to diverse candidate pools led education tech company Coding Dojo to partner with The Prison Scholar Fund to train formerly incarcerated people in web development and software engineering. In addition to exposing companies to underused talent pools, the initiative is intended to help ease pathways for previously incarcerated people and reduce the likelihood of recidivism.