When it comes to increasing diversity, bootcamps, hackathons, and recruitment tools are all the rage in the tech community.  One organization is looking to solve the problem using an old school concept; apprenticeships.  The Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) was awarded a $7.5 million grant from the Department of Labor to expand their Apprenti program, focusing on a 6 month training regiment for its students.

Apprenti is a recently created program that is looking to solve the tech industry’s biggest problems, including “diversifying the tech workforce and finding workers to fill ever-widening talent gaps.”  The program plans “to serve 600 students within four years in Washington state,” focusing on Hispanics, African American, women, and veterans.

“The program is partnering with Code Fellows and other education centers in Washington state for this training, and for now students are trained for free. The apprentices are then placed in a one-year, full time internship with one of the organization’s partner companies, where they are paid 60 percent the salary of a fully qualified employee.”

What’s old is new again as the apprenticeship model is definitely a new take on a much needed solution.  Numbers are abysmal in the tech community when highlighting diversity and creativity is needed to increase numbers all around.  Hopefully this is the perfect opportunity for 600 individuals to gain entry into companies like Microsoft and Accenture in software development, database management, web development and more. 

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