- Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces Launch of First Tech Apprenticeship Program in Massachusetts
Charles Pearce, Director of Communications - Exec. Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Boston, MA — Innovative training program will help connect a diverse pool of applicants to high-demand jobs in areas such as software development and cyber security.
Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the launch of Apprenti Massachusetts, the first technology focused registered apprenticeship program in the Commonwealth. The program will work with the tech industry to identify high demand employment categories which can be filled by motivated job seekers regardless of their educational background. Applicants for the program will be recruited from a broad base of local community partners. Accepted applicants will receive up to five months of certified technical training and one year of paid on-the-job training through one of the program’s employer partners.
“Massachusetts is home to world-class educational institutions and a dynamic workforce that serve as the foundation of the Commonwealth’s economic strength and resiliency,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The launch of industry-specific apprenticeships, beginning with our partnership with Apprenti, enhances the state’s position as a global leader in tech and education by providing a new pathway for people who are eager to enter the tech sector but who might not otherwise have had the training or connections to pursue it.”
“Our administration has taken important steps to ensure Massachusetts’ workforce is prepared to participate in and help shape the state’s incredible innovation economy,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito . “Apprenticeship programs and partnerships with organizations like Apprenti are necessary to supercharge workforce development and drive even more economic growth in the Commonwealth by bringing more citizens into the tech workforce and we are grateful to the Workforce Skills Cabinet for their leadership on these efforts.”
In 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration established the Workforce Skills Cabinet to align the Executive Offices of Education, Housing and Economic Development, and Labor and Workforce Development toward a comprehensive economic growth agenda focused on closing skills gaps in areas such as technology, health care, and advanced manufacturing. To date, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded more than $50 million in Workforce Skills Capital Grants to help educational institutions purchase job ready technologies that positively impact thousands of students in the Commonwealth every year. The Fiscal Year 2019 budget was the first to include a joint workforce funding request and included money for expanding the apprenticeship model into high demand fields. This year’s economic development bill also included new tax credits for companies starting up registered apprenticeships in Healthcare, Advanced Manufacturing, and Tech.
“The tech apprenticeship program will help further our efforts to align our education, economic, and workforce programs to address the potential of critical talent shortages in high demand occupations due to changing technical requirements in the coming years,” said Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta. “This program is a great example of the power of collaboration between private, public, philanthropic, and the nonprofit sector and I want to thank the One8 Foundation for identifying this opportunity and helping us turn it into a reality.”
“This new apprenticeship program not only strengthens our response to critical employer needs in information technology, it also aligns with our efforts to expand computer science education at all levels, while providing students with work-based learning experiences,” Education Secretary James Peyser said.
“Employers in Massachusetts have added over 60,000 jobs over the last year, with much of those gains concentrated in key knowledge based sectors of our economy like information technology,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “The launch of the first tech apprenticeship program will help Massachusetts leverage our existing talent pools and help them acquire the skills and experience to meet the needs of our fastest growing employers.”
The announcement event was held at the global headquarters of Wayfair, a home goods e-commerce company founded in Massachusetts. Wayfair is one of Apprenti Massachusetts’ founding employer partners, and will be hiring apprentices from the first Apprenti tech apprentice cohort. Additional founding hiring partners include Cengage, CarbonBlack, Harvard University Information Technology, Partners Healthcare, and PTC.
“Wayfair is excited to partner with Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on the launch of Apprenti Massachusetts,” said Niraj Shah, CEO, co-founder and co-chairman of Wayfair. “Wayfair’s success is built on the strength of our workforce and our continued rapid growth as a global e-commerce leader depends on our ability to source and develop the very best tech talent. With our corporate headquarters firmly rooted in Massachusetts, we are committed to working hand-in-hand with the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and the Commonwealth to ensure the local talent pool has greater access to the tech sector and the skills and training needed to help drive our innovation economy forward. We look forward to welcoming members of the first Apprenti class to the Wayfair team.”
The application and training certification process will be handled through the Apprenti Massachusetts online platform. Apprenti is an industry recognized, state and federally accredited program, which was created by the Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA.) Apprenti Massachusetts will be funded by the One8 Foundation and will reside at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MassTech,) the state’s lead quasi-public agency to support the technology sector in Massachusetts. The One8 Foundation, a Boston-based philanthropic organization focused on increasing access to applied learning opportunities for Massachusetts students and adults, will fund the initial operations of Apprenti in the state while the organization grows its set of employer partners and expands its work with apprentices.
“We’re honored that the Administration has chosen MassTech as the Massachusetts partner and host for this critical program,” stated Pat Larkin, Director of the Innovation Institute at MassTech. “The Innovation Institute has shepherded programs that have grown tech internships, added new mentoring opportunities for entrepreneurs, and increased cybersecurity training statewide. Hosting Apprenti makes perfect sense and complements our existing programs extremely well.”
"More than 10 percent of the Massachusetts labor force works in tech, and that’s a higher percentage than any other state,” said Apprenti Executive Director Jennifer Carlson. “In 2017, there were more than 100,000 tech job postings in Massachusett and Apprenti wants to help the state fill these roles by providing a clear path to employment through apprenticeship.”
Applications for tech apprenticeships in Massachusetts through the Apprenti platform are available now. More information on how to become an apprentice or a hiring partner can be found at www.apprenti.org.
The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative is an innovative public agency working to enhance economic growth, accelerate technology use and adoption, and harness the value of research by engaging in meaningful collaborations across academia, industry, and government. From improving our health care systems and expanding high-speed internet across the state to fostering emerging industry clusters, MassTech is driving innovation and supporting a vibrant economy across the Commonwealth. Visitmasstech.org to learn more.