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APHL and KAA Host Their Third Apprenticeship Learning Collaborative 

On Wednesday, June 12th, ApprenticeshipPHL (APHL) along with partners from Keystone Development Partnership (KDP) and the Keystone Apprenticeship Alliance (KAA) hosted their third Apprenticeship Learning Collaborative Session. The Apprenticeship Learning Collaborative, an informative webinar series, is intended to engage current apprenticeship sponsors and practitioners in PA. During these sessions, attendees hear directly from successful program leaders in the apprenticeship field on how they have built and sustained high quality programs. Our first two Learning Collaborative sessions focused on the agriculture and healthcare industries. In this third session, we focused on the technology sector and heard from leaders managing and supporting technology apprenticeship programs. 

During our session, we learned about current trends of apprenticeships in the technology sector from Krysti Specht, a Director within Jobs for the Future’s Center for Apprenticeship and Work-Based Learning. During her presentation, Krysti led attendees through a brief history of the beginning of technology apprenticeships and where we currently see most of them being developed and implemented. Krysti also gave us three ways to grow technology apprenticeships and shared a resource for engaging employers in the conversation. The resources can be accessed here. 

Insights from Program Sponsors  

Following Krysti’s presentation, we heard from two apprenticeship programs directly. Cassandra Hane and Jessica Charlton from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Office of Administration shared their experience of building and managing a technology apprenticeship. They shared the reasons why their office explored the apprenticeship model, and how the apprenticeship program was formatted. They also shared the partnerships that they built and the need for such partners to have a successful program. As they look to launch their second cohort of apprentices, they are always looking to hear from other program sponsors who have best practices for implementing technology programs.  

Attendees also heard from Shana Savage, Executive Director of IT Apprenticeships for the School District of Philadelphia and the Urban Technology Project. Shana shared the foundations of the Urban Technology Project and how the program is managed. Shana also shared how the Urban Technology Project has evolved since its inception more than 20 years ago including the use of social media during the COVID-19 pandemic to recruit new talent into their programs.  

What’s Next? 

In a closing presentation, we heard from Deborah Kobes, a Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute, who encouraged attendees to look at how we are developing technology apprenticeships. She encouraged us to focus on technology roles in non-tech companies, center technology programs on equity, and leverage early evidence from current technology apprenticeship to stack or lengthen technology apprenticeship programs for additional access into higher career pathways and family-sustaining wages. 

If you are interested in listening to the full webinar, click here.  If you would like to become a member of APHL and stay connected to future events, click here. For additional information and to stay connected for future events, click here.  

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