Funding from the State of Pennsylvania

Franklin Awarded $520K To Expand Tech Apprenticeships in PA

Franklin Awarded $520K To Expand Tech Apprenticeships in PA

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf recently announced awards totaling more than $11 million for 26 apprenticeship programs, including Franklin Apprenticeships which will receive $520,000 to deliver technology pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs to employers and residents of the state.

The grants are part of Governor Wolf’s PA Statewide Movement for Accountability, Readiness and Training (PAsmart) framework, which is “designed to better align education, workforce and economic development initiatives and funding,” according to the Governor’s website.

“We applaud the State of Pennsylvania for making this significant, strategic investment in building its tech workforce by helping people with no formal experience in technology transition to well-paid, high-demand roles in the state,” Kim Nichols, CEO and Founder of Franklin Apprenticeships explains. “Our team at Franklin is thrilled to build on the work we are already doing in the state, and expand access to our apprenticeship programs for employers and tech career seekers.”

Franklin’s Pre-Apprenticeship and Apprenticeship Programs currently include: IBM Z, Software Engineering, Network Engineering, Cybersecurity and Helpdesk. There is an accelerating demand from employers for Franklin’s job ready, pre-apprentice graduates as many companies are increasingly leveraging apprenticeships as a tool for building their own pipeline of tech talent given the high-demand for people with these skills.

“Throughout history, apprenticeships have been a vital and necessary part of career education in certain fields,” Gov. Wolf said in the press announcement. “By expanding these important programs to more occupations and industries, we are offering Pennsylvania workers opportunities to train for family-sustaining jobs while helping businesses develop a workforce that will strengthen our economy and our communities.”

Grant Details: Franklin Apprenticeships | $520,000

Tech Talent for PA

Franklin Apprenticeships will establish and enroll participants into non-traditional, competency-based registered apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships using a non-traditional service delivery process. The proposed Franklin statewide program will prioritize 240 new pre-apprenticeships and 40 apprenticeships expanding into non-traditional occupations parallel to the growing workforce-need within the IT sector. The program has a special focus on prioritizing the recruitment of diverse populations and historically underserved participants (including minorities, low-income populations and women).

Franklin Apprenticeships will establish and enroll participants into non-traditional, competency-based registered apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships using a non-traditional service delivery process. 

Read more at the Governor of Pennsylvania’s Press Room.

Interested in Getting Involved?

  • Career Seekers in Pennsylvania: Explore Franklin’s Pre-Apprenticeship Programs which currently include: IBM Z, Software Engineering, Network Engineering, Cybersecurity and Helpdesk.
  • Employers in Pennsylvania: Ready to start a tech apprenticeship program to build your talent pipeline? Franklin will make it easy to get started. Get in touch at info@franklinapprenticeships.com.

Modernizing the mainframe for the digital era

Franklin Apprenticeships featured in CIO Magazine

Franklin Apprenticeships featured in CIO Magazine

This article explores the long-term future of IBM Z Mainframe and takes a detailed look at how M&T Bank is using the platform. It also mentions the IBM Z Apprenticeship Program, which is delivered by Franklin Apprenticeships.

“Farther north, M&T Bank launched in November 2020 its Z Development Program (ZDP) Mainframe Apprenticeship, a training and internship program that recruits participants from non-traditional backgrounds and underserved communities, particularly Black and Latinx people, as well as women and veterans in the Buffalo area. The goal is to develop entry-level application developers and systems administrators with the skills to work with IBM Z systems. The program is a collaborative effort that draws on the support of IBM, Franklin Apprenticeships, and the Urban Institute.”

Read more online at CIO.com

Press Release

Franklin adds senior hires to leadership team

Franklin adds senior hires to leadership team

Franklin Apprenticeships expands corporate learning and development expertise with Senior Operations and Marketing hires

“Franklin Apprenticeships, the professional apprenticeship experts, today announced two senior hires that expand the company’s learning and development expertise to support further growth. Franklin has appointed Helen Smyth as Vice President of Operations and Mikki Draggoo as Vice President of Marketing.”

Read here: EINPresswire.com

 

Sharing Insight from the U.S. and U.K.

Exploring Age Diversity In Apprenticeships

Exploring Age Diversity In Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships provide an excellent opportunity for individuals of all ages to explore new careers through an alternative path. Individuals who seek a new career path may lack the time and resources to pursue a college degree as a full-time or even part-time student due to familial and financial responsibilities. Apprenticeship programs that offer an “earn while you learn” approach helps apprentices avoid taking on debt but still gain the necessary skills to pursue their dream career.

Franklin Apprenticeships and the City & Guilds Group recently hosted a roundtable with both apprentices and employers from the U. S. and U.K. who are committed to breaking generational barriers.

Apprentices offered excellent insight from their experiences with generational differences in their apprenticeship programs, while employers explained the benefits of an age-diverse apprenticeship program.

Sharing Insight from the U.S. and U.K.

Building Gender Diversity through Apprenticeships

Building Gender Diversity through Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are an excellent opportunity to build gender diversity in a company’s early career pipeline. By providing a route to professional careers that does not rely on a degree, earn-and-learn apprenticeship programs are more accessible to people from all walks of life – and can be a powerful way for a company to improve gender diversity.

Franklin Apprenticeships and the City & Guilds Group recently hosted a round table with top apprenticeship employers in the U.S. and U.K. exploring how they have built gender diversity through their apprenticeship programs.

The participants included representatives from Siemens, T-Mobile, NatWest and The Urban Institute. They offered excellent insight into how to not only recruit apprentices to improve gender diversity within a team, but how to make sure they grow and develop their careers within your company.

Check out our highlight reel from the event and our infographic of five ideas we learned to attract and retain gender diverse apprentices. For a full event run-down, read more on City & Guilds’ website.

Meet Kim Nichols - A Leader And A Role Model For New Career Possibilities

Franklin Apprenticeships featured in Forbes Magazine

Franklin Apprenticeships featured in Forbes Magazine

“This week marks National Apprenticeship week, and there is no better time to introduce the instructive example of Kim Nichols. She entered the world of apprenticeships the hard way—she created her own. After an orthodox education in accounting and business administration, she moved on to a successful corporate and consulting career. However, parallel volunteer work as a board member of the charity The Children’s Guild led to her going on a fact-finding mission to the UK on apprenticeships. Impressed by what she saw, she arranged a six-month sabbatical to work with London collaborators on how apprenticeships could be revitalized and expanded in the US.

She asked, how could “the ancient solution” of apprenticeships help address “our 21st century problem” to prepare workers for a fast-changing world?”

Read more online in Forbes Careers.

By Kim Nichols, CEO, Franklin Apprenticeships

National Apprenticeship Week 2021

National Apprenticeship Week 2021

National Apprenticeship Week Logo 2021

Next week is one of my favorite weeks of the year because it is all about apprenticeships! National Apprenticeship Week runs November 15 – 21 and is all about raising awareness and celebrating the achievements of apprentices across the country.

I am so passionate about apprenticeships because they are a tried-and-tested solution to the pervasive and growing challenge of how to recruit and train people for technical careers.

They give people from all walks of life a path to learn new skills and grow their careers within companies that desperately need diverse tech talent. Instead of going into debt for a degree, apprentices get paid a good wage throughout the program as they train and build job experience at the same time.

There are millions of capable, bright, eager individuals out there with a strong aptitude for tech careers who simply don’t have the time or money to commit to a four-year tech degree. Importantly, colleges are simply not producing enough qualified people to meet employer demand. College Factual estimates there were only 53,000 computer science graduates last year; compare that to 360,000 tech job openings listed by employers in October 2021 alone, according to Burning Glass Technologies.

We can proudly say after an apprenticeship with Franklin, 100% of our graduates are fully competent in their job roles. And 94% of Franklin apprentices stay employed with their current companies – frequently being promoted within the first few years.

That brings me back to National Apprenticeship Week and why it is important. Despite the proven benefits, there are currently fewer than 3,000 active apprentices in the tech sector according to the Department of Labor.

National Apprenticeship Week is a fantastic opportunity to build awareness of apprenticeships. Throughout the week, there are tons of opportunities to get involved; I’ve listed my top three below.

Together we can raise awareness of apprenticeships and hopefully take a big step forward in establishing apprenticeships as a go-to option for technical skills training making the American dream more accessible to more people.

TOP 3 WAYS TO GET INVOLVED IN NATIONAL APPRENTICESHIP WEEK 2021

1) Join an event

Take a look at the National Apprenticeship Week website to see all the fantastic events and promotional activities that are planned.

Franklin is hosting two events, including an Apprenticeship Info Session for Veterans and a Round Table for employers, Building Gender Diversity Through Apprenticeships.

2) Promote apprenticeships on your social media channels

Share articles and blogs (like this one!) on your social channels to help build awareness of apprenticeships across your networks. Make sure you follow us to get the latest updates on LinkedIn, Facebook and/or Twitter.

3) Explore apprenticeship opportunities for yourself, friends or family

Franklin currently offers apprenticeships in six occupations including: Cybersecurity Analyst; IBM Z ® Mainframe App Developer; IBM Z ® Mainframe Systems Administrator; Helpdesk Technician; Network Engineer and Software Engineer.

If tech isn’t your path, there are tons of additional occupations available – take a look at Apprenticeships.gov for more information.

The Role of Coaching in Apprenticeships

The Role of Coaching in Apprenticeships

While coaching has long been embraced at the executive level in business, more and more organizations are recognizing its value throughout all levels of their workforces and embracing a culture of coaching. Here’s a brief look at how coaching fits into the picture for tech apprenticeships.

Coaching vs. managing

Separating the concept of coaching from managing is difficult if not impossible. Most would agree that the best managers are also good coaches in that they have a skill set that helps them get the most out of their teams.

For our purposes, we’ll consider management to be a process of review, assessment and improvement on the ‘nuts and bolts’ of a given role. These tend to be items that lend themselves to being measured, for example sales quotas, deadlines met or customer satisfaction ratings.

While coaching may have similar end goals, it takes a more holistic approach that encompasses not only the business outcomes but the human interactions that lead to them. A manager, for instance, might point out to an employee that he or she is behind on a quarterly sales goal. A coach will seek to understand the attitudes and behaviors that are causing that to be the case, and work with the employee to map out an improvement plan.

An obvious differentiator is that coaching requires a more individualized approach. A sales manager wants everyone to sell more, but the coaching process to achieve that goal will differ from person to person. A coach is there to extract the talent that already lies within the person.

Coaching in the apprenticeship model

The tech apprenticeship model used by Franklin Apprenticeships recognizes the value of coaching, and was designed with coaching as a central component. Each apprentice works weekly with a Personal Success Coach to monitor progress and identify areas for improvement.

The key here is that those sessions do more than track progress on technical skills like achieving certifications (management). The organizations who hire apprentices want to know that they’re adding not just technically competent personnel but well-rounded employees. That’s why our Success Coaches also work with apprentices on the ‘soft skills’ that lead to better interactions with customers and co-workers alike. These include problem-solving skills, solution-focused thinking, communication, time management and even managing stress.

As an increasing number of organizations recognize the value in taking the next step from management to coaching, the coaching model itself becomes more and more important, and well-coached employees become more and more valuable.

Top 5 Reasons to Become a Tech Apprentice

Top 5 Reasons to Become a Tech Apprentice

There are plenty of great reasons to consider apprenticeship as the path to your tech career, and every day we see how apprenticeships change lives for the better. Based on our experience, these are the top five reasons to consider a tech apprenticeship:

Demand for Tech Personnel

Even through the pandemic, companies have been challenged to find enough qualified employees to fill their tech roles. Help desk workers are always in demand, and the cybersecurity climate continues to be a huge issue for nearly every organization, meaning a growing need for network engineers. Also, the nation’s largest financial institutions are facing a shortage of qualified mainframe/enterprise computing workers. All of these are areas of focus in our apprenticeship programs.

No College Debt

The average cost of attending college ranges from just over $11,000 per year for in-state residents at public colleges to more than $40,000 for private schools. And that’s just tuition and fees, not room and board. No wonder more and more students are considering other options. An apprenticeship track requires no college degree. You can have an in-demand, well-paying career without all the debt.

Paycheck from Day One

An apprenticeship is not an internship. You’re on the payroll with your employer from your first day, and you qualify for benefits just as every other employee does. You earn a salary at a reduced rate while you learn and achieve industry-recognized technical certifications on the job, notching a pay raise as each one is completed.

Apprenticeships Aren’t Just for Recent Graduates

Some of our apprentices are just out of high school or college. Others are parents returning to the workforce after raising a family. Still others are ex-military, or simply seeking a change from a dead-end career. Apprenticeships work especially well for those with families because all your training is done during work hours … no more night school or burning the candle at both ends.

You Won’t Go It Alone

Stepping into a new career under any circumstances can be intimidating, and there’s always the fear of taking a wrong turn. That’s why the Franklin Apprenticeships model includes a Personal Success Coach for each and every apprentice. You’ll have a weekly check-in session to make sure you’re on track with your learning and meeting your employer’s expectations. We’re with you for every step of your journey.

Apprenticeships in America: Catching Up

Apprenticeships in America: Catching Up

It’s no secret that the United States has lagged behind Europe – and specifically the United Kingdom – in the adoption of apprenticeships. Why is that, and are we closing the gap?

A few statistics for perspective: As recently as 2014, an article in The Atlantic noted that only about five percent of young people in the U.S. are pursuing apprenticeships versus about 60 percent in Germany. And while a Wikipedia entry predicted a doubling of U.S. apprenticeship numbers from 375,000 to 750,000 between 2014 and 2019, that number still pales in comparison to more than 2 million apprenticeships launched since 2015 in the UK, with its much smaller population.

Why Does the U.S. Lag Behind?

While those statistics include all apprenticeships, not just tech-oriented fields, the story is similar across the board. Why?

First is a simple lack of awareness. We’re working hard to spread the word about the modern apprenticeship model, which we feel is a win-win for employer and candidate alike. And we’re getting there, as top-tier organizations like IBM join us to throw their weight behind tech apprenticeships.

Still, there’s a lingering stigma among young people in America around not pursuing a four-year college degree. This has its roots in the post-World War II years, when many parents who had not had the opportunity to attend college considered it the ultimate badge of success to see their children earn diplomas.

The Future of U.S. Apprenticeships

That stigma, though, seems to be fading as reality sets in. Education costs have increased geometrically, far outpacing the cost of living. Worse, that college diploma is no longer a guarantee of high-paying employment that will pay off a potential mountain of debt. And many prospective college students are recognizing yet another financial reality: those four years spent incurring debt are four years when they could have been earning a salary instead, a double financial whammy.

A model that pays the student to learn from the first day and accomplishes this within regular working hours so the candle doesn’t need to burn at both ends, would seem to fill the bill. And that’s how an apprenticeship works. For employers, apprenticeships are an alternative to traditional (and expensive) recruiting methods to fill in-demand tech roles. And as an added benefit, the pool of apprenticeship candidates tends to be much more diverse in age, background and ethnicity than candidates reached via traditional means.

With all that working in favor of apprenticeships, we think the gap will close quickly, and the United States won’t be playing catch-up for too much longer.