A Baltimore firm and the state of Maryland are launching a digital apprenticeship program - Technical.ly Baltimore

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May 23, 2019 5:25 pm

A Baltimore firm and the state of Maryland are launching a digital apprenticeship program

Franklin Apprenticeships is partnering with Maryland Department of Labor to debut the program for IT help desk roles this summer, with plans to expand to network engineering and cybersecurity.

NET/WORK Baltimore 2019.

(Photo by Stephen Babcock)

A new partnership between a Baltimore company and the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation will bring a digital apprenticeship program to the state.

Franklin Apprenticeships is launching the program that’s designed to provide locally based, long-term talent. The firm provides recruitment, training and success coaches for employers who participate.

The goal is to provide the companies with a new way to train workers that will add talent in areas where there’s often said to be a shortage of qualified workers. The participants are employed with the companies while going through the program and receiving training on-the-job.

“Maryland’s business climate has been steadily improving, yet employers are challenged with a lack of qualified employees, which is a barrier to economic growth,” Kimberly Nichols, cofounder and CEO of Franklin Apprenticeships, said in a statement. “In today’s IT sector, employers are rethinking the actual benefit of a four-year degree vs. a two-year degree, or a technical certification program. By leveraging apprenticeships as a cost-effective workforce, training, and education solution, we can help Maryland businesses of all sizes grow and thrive by helping them to develop their own pipeline of educated and skilled employees.”

An initial program will be focused on IT help desk roles, with plans to expand to network engineer and cybersecurity.

The program will start July 8 with a cohort of 50 apprentices, and is expected to grow beyond that, Nichols said. So far, three companies have signed on for five apprentices who are members of the International Association of Microsoft Partners MD/DC chapter. The company is in discussions with several more, as well.

Building on models that have long been used in other areas, we’ve seen Baltimore organizations using apprenticeships as a way of creating a new path to a tech job.

“More and more, registered apprenticeship is being used in industries beyond the skilled building trades,” said Acting Labor Secretary James E. Rzepkowski.

Last year, Canton dev agency SmartLogic launched its own in-house apprenticeship program for software developers. In 2016, TranZed Apprenticeship Services also arrived in the state and worked with companies after initially developing its model in the U.K.

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