Apprentice program is boosting Baton Rouge tech workforce 

    When Apprenti Louisiana graduates talk about their experience participating in the state’s first technology apprenticeship program, a common sentiment emerges: The program, they say, is almost too good to be true.

    Apprenti—a national initiative founded in 2016 and operating in 10 states—provides three months of free certified technical training and a paid one-year apprenticeship with a local company. NexusLA, a subsidiary of the Research Park Corporation, launched Apprenti Louisiana in Baton Rouge last October with five partner companies—TraceSecurity, General Informatics, EATEL Business, Transformyx, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana.

    “For me, it was pretty much perfect for what I was looking for at this point in my life,” says Jared Carmouche, an Apprenti grad who left the banking industry and is now an apprentice at Eatel Business. “The fact that it was free and a great opportunity, I was sort of skeptical the whole time, thinking this can’t be true.”

    The goal of Apprenti Louisiana is not just to help participants find jobs, but to fill the skills gap in the Baton Rouge area’s talent-hungry tech industry. The program provides a reliable pipeline of trained apprentices to meet the growing demands for tech talent at local companies. Apprenti has even attracted interest from out of state, including two in the first cohort who moved to Baton Rouge from Texas.

    And employers participating in Apprenti so far have been impressed with the results.

    “The success of the program is evident by the ability of the apprentices to be immediately productive and to be an additional avenue for building a quality workforce in the Baton Rouge area,” says General Informatics Executive Vice President Devin Zito. “We’re looking forward to being a part of the program’s future success.” 

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