Louisiana’s first registered technology apprenticeship program launched this morning in Baton Rouge. Economic development officials hope it will strengthen and grow the pipeline of getting Capital Region residents into positions with technological companies.
Apprenti, founded in 2016 and operating in 10 other states, matches technology-interested people with hiring companies. Apprenti Louisiana is being launched by NexusLA, a subsidiary of the Research Park Corporation.
Genevieve Silverman, president and CEO of Research Park Corporation, says applicants aren’t judged on educational background or prior work experience. Instead, they are judged by aptitude, attitude and cultural fit with the technology sector and company.
“(Apprenti Louisiana) will help create a culture that promotes the training and hiring of homegrown talent,” Silverman says.
The first partnering Baton Rouge companies are TraceSecurity, General Informatics, EATEL Business and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana.
For its launch, the program will initially focus on cybersecurity, but apprenticeships in IT support, software development and system administration are planned to be offered in the future.
Candidates only need to be 18 years old and have a high school diploma to apply for the program. If chosen, Apprenti Louisiana provides 12 to 24 weeks of free certified technical training and a paid one-year apprenticeship with a local hiring company.
“It creates a great opportunity for individuals who want to enter the workforce with the potential to have great earnings, great benefits, for the rest of their lives in an industry that will continue to grow,” says Adam Knapp, president and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber.
Initial partners include the Louisiana Workforce Commission, BRAC, EmployBR, Baton Rouge Career Center, The Walls Project and the Baton Rouge North Economic Development District.
Economic development officials have been working to boost the tech sector in the state for years, though there’s ongoing concerns over having enough local talent to fill open positions at companies.