Press Release

Franklin Welcomes Senior Executives to Advisory Board

Franklin Welcomes Senior Executives to Advisory Board

Franklin Apprenticeships, the tech apprenticeship company, today announced the addition of two senior executives to its advisory board: Peter Buchanan and Lisa Patterson. Buchanan and Patterson bring extensive experience building businesses and relationships with enterprise clients in the financial services and tech industries.

As demand for diverse tech talent continues to grow, Franklin Apprenticeships is rising to meet the challenge of recruiting, training, and hiring top tech professionals across the country.

Read here.

Blog Post

FIS Global IBMz Apprenticeship Graduation

FIS Global IBMz Apprenticeship Graduation

Computer science college graduates at FIS Global learn IBMz skills through year-long tech apprenticeship program 

FIS Global recently celebrated the graduation of their IBM zSystems Apprentices with IBM and Franklin Apprenticeships in Cincinnati, Ohio. Through the year-long Registered Apprenticeship Program, graduates earned certificates from the U.S. Department of Labor and industry-recognized credentials while being fully employed by FIS Global.  

Despite IBM zSystems powering 70% of Fortune 500 companies, these skills are not typically taught in higher education. So, FIS Global partnered with IBM and Franklin Apprenticeships to train recent college recruits with computer science degrees on the IBM zSystems platform (also referred to as the mainframe) via an earn-and-learn apprenticeship program designed by IBM. 

“It’s been a fantastic program and we’re very grateful for that,” said Phil Hiett, Systems Manager, Senior Mainframe – Db2 z/OS Database at FIS Global. “The mainframe isn’t going anywhere. So, I’m always thrilled to see young people learning these skills because they are a pathway to a great career.”  

“I studied software engineering in college,” explained Jack M., one of the graduating apprentices. “But the mainframe is completely different from what I learned in school. The IBMz Apprenticeship really was an incredible way to jumpstart my career.” 

“Mainframe workers can be hard to come by, especially at the entry-level,” said Chris Pryor, Systems Manager Senior, Leveraged Infrastructure at FIS Global. “So, I’m grateful for the program IBM and Franklin Apprenticeships have provided.”   

Shelly Meierarend, IBM zSystems Client Skills Leader, encouraged the apprentice graduates to make a positive impact in the IBM zSystems community. She said, “Continue to mentor, grow and invest in learning why you do what you do. You truly can change the world with what you are now capable of doing.” 

Franklin Success Coaches also attended the ceremony to speak about each of the apprentice’s journeys and successes.  

“These apprentices have not only completed 25 units to develop technical competency,” said Franklin Professional Success Coach, Britt Launius. “They also focused on six professional development skills ranging from conflict resolution to effective communications.”  

Every Franklin Apprenticeship program includes professional development exercises and discussions to help apprentices navigate and succeed in the corporate environment.  

For example, Bhuvi B., one of the graduates, had struggled with her confidence prior to beginning the apprenticeship program. The support she received helped her to grow in confidence.  

“My mentors, my manager, my team, and the support from Franklin made me want to stick with it and keep learning as much as possible,” said Bhuvi.  

Franklin Professional Success Coach, Alison Chapman, spoke about Bhuvi’s eagerness to learn and engage in their success coaching sessions.  

“I could always count on Bhuvi to bring the best questions related to coursework and overall discussion related to various projects that she was involved in into our sessions,” said Alison. “Some of her questions even challenged me as a coach, so, thank you for that Bhuvi!” 

FIS Global Managers also spoke at the ceremony, celebrating the apprentices’ accomplishments and the careers that lay ahead of them. 

“It’s going to be fulfilling and it’s going to be rewarding,” said Tom Kesselring, Senior Director, of Leveraged Infrastructure WP in Mainframe Operations at FIS. “You are our future and I wish you the best of luck.”   

Learn more about the IBMz apprenticeship program at: 

Blog Post

Credit Suisse Celebrates IBM zSystems Apprenticeship Graduates

Credit Suisse Celebrates IBM zSystems Apprenticeship Graduates

Pictured: Virtual and in-person attendees from Credit Suisse, IBM, and Franklin Apprenticeships

Credit Suisse Raleigh celebrated the graduation of its first cohort of IBM zSystems Apprentices in September 2022. Senior leaders within Credit Suisse, IBM, and Franklin Apprenticeships came together to celebrate graduates who completed their Registered Apprenticeship Programs and received certificates from the Department of Labor.  

“I am very impressed with our apprenticeship program,” said Kevin Walker, Managing Director and Head of Credit Suisse Raleigh. “These skills are important and can be difficult to find.” 

Credit Suisse turned to the US IBM zSystems Apprenticeship Accelerator to build its talent pool in its IBM Mainframe Infrastructure team.  

“Our talent progression for the IBM Mainframe team had industry challenges,” explained US Mainframe lead Frank Cortell, who has worked on the team at Credit Suisse for 25 years. “This apprenticeship program is a great solution to those challenges.” 

Credit Suisse was an inaugural employer of the apprenticeship program, which launched in January 2021. Meredith Stowell, VP of Ecosystem, IBM zSystems, applauded the bank as a trailblazer for taking a chance on a new way to build its talent pool.  

“When we were developing this program, we wondered if large companies would really hire people without four-year degrees,” Stowell said. “Credit Suisse stepped up, proving that apprenticeships are highly effective at opening the door of opportunity for people without prior experience or education in tech.” 

By offering an apprenticeship program, Credit Suisse added a diverse group of outstanding apprentices to its IBM Mainframe team who developed their skills over the year-long program. 

Pictured (left to right): Meredith Stowell, Kim Nichols and Anu C.

For example, Anu C. previously worked in a dental office and always dreamed of working with computers but didn’t have a path into the field. Juggling her day job and family commitments, she worked late into the night to complete her IBM Pre-Apprenticeship Program, which qualified her for an IBM zSystems Apprenticeship with Credit Suisse.  

“Anu is a quick learner and capable of juggling a lot of things at once,” said Britt Launius, Anu’s Professional Success Coach from Franklin who supported the apprentices and managers through the program. “She always has such a positive perspective, and it is truly a joy to work with her. Her ability to get a lot done and excitement to learn has contributed to her success in this program. She will absolutely go far in this career.” 

Anu said, “Thank you to everyone I’m sitting in front of today. Franklin, IBM, my manager, my team… in this one year, they’ve taught me so much. And still, they are teaching me.”  

The value of learning both professional and technical skills was a recurring theme at the ceremony. 

“I learned a lot from the program and the team,” explained Wesley S., a veteran of the United States Army. “I look forward to continuing to expand my knowledge and my career here at Credit Suisse.” 

Pictured (left to right): Wesley S. and Kim Nichols

Former teacher Joseph L. expressed his gratitude to his managers and the company as a whole for offering the apprenticeship program. 

“Thank you, Credit Suisse,” he said. “If you hadn’t taken this risk on us, we wouldn’t have had this life-changing career opportunity.” 

Each manager also spoke about their experience, celebrating the graduates’ perseverance and progress throughout the year-long program and sharing stories about the journey.  

“Congratulations on the hard work you all put in, day in and day out,” Cortell said. “We look forward to you continuing your growth and will support you in your future endeavors at Credit Suisse.” 

Blog Post

Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week 2022

Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week 2022

The whole team here at Franklin is counting down the days to the 8th Annual National Apprenticeship Week, which runs November 14-20, 2022.  

Sponsored by the Department of Labor, National Apprenticeship Week is the busiest week of the year for apprenticeship news and events. The DOL explains that this nationwide celebration showcases the successes and value of apprenticeships for “re-building our economy, advancing racial and gender equity, and supporting underserved communities.”  

For us, it’s a chance to celebrate the inspiring people, clients and partners that work with us every day to create a new way to build and hire tech talent. We’ll be sharing information about how apprenticeships work, the lives they’ve changed, and business problems they’ve solved. 

This blog is a round-up of all the news and events the Franklin team is supporting as an official Department of Labor Apprenticeship Ambassador, as well as other big National Apprenticeship Week news. It will be updated as the week goes on with links to news articles and events. 


VR Workforce Studio Interviews Franklin Apprenticeship Graduate Chris W., who completed his IBM Z Systems Administrator Apprenticeship with Black Knight Inc. Chris talks about how becoming disabled led him to an apprenticeship, which started a new chapter in his life. “Part of my disability actually affected some of my cognitive and language skills, so I was fighting that battle at that time also…. But now oh man, I love my job, I could tell you that for a fact.” 

Coming soon… our new podcast: Frankly Speaking – Adventures in Tech Apprenticeships
Interested in how tech apprenticeships really work? Frankly Speaking explores the real people and businesses that are charting a new way to develop the technical skills that the American economy desperately needs. Hosted by Franklin Apprenticeship Professional Success Coach Cable Rose, Frankly Speaking is packed with real experiences, advice and lessons learned from apprentices, hiring managers, HR professionals and business leaders.


Tuesday, November 15 

120-Day Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Sprint Culmination Event at the White House. Kimberly Nichols, Franklin’s CEO and Founder, will be attending The U.S. Departments of Labor, Commerce, and Homeland Security White House event to celebrate our efforts to advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s work to develop and train a skilled and diverse cybersecurity workforce through the 120-Day Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Sprint.  

Wednesday, November 16 

Workforce Solutions: Information Technology Apprenticeships Info Session for PA Employers. 1-3pm EST. Andy Smyth, Franklin’s VP Policy, Products and Services joins the panel for this informational session, a representative from the PA Apprenticeship and Training office will provide employers with an overview of Registered Apprenticeship co-sponsored by the Lancaster County Workforce Development Board and the PA Apprenticeship and Training Office 

Thursday, November 17 

Ask Me Anything About Apprenticeships with Andy Smyth on LinkedIn Live. 12-1pm EST. Andy has been building professional apprenticeship programs for more than 30 years and is a true expert in apprenticeships. After a full week of apprenticeship news and announcements, this is your chance to get all of your questions answered. Register now. 

The Path to a Successful Tech Apprenticeship Program

The Path to a Successful Tech Apprenticeship Program

Employers about to take the leap into apprenticeship programs frequently ask us what actions they can take that will lead to the most successful outcomes. Here’s our advice for launching a program that maximizes the benefits to both your organization and its apprentices.

Think long term. As a hiring manager, you often need to plug a hole in your lineup, and quickly. We urge you to adjust that mindset and think of ten-year career paths, not just filling jobs. If you can show a new hire a career path from Day One and not just a job, you’ll stop paying top dollar for experience and fancy resumes and start investing in potential. That 12- to 18-month investment results in loyal team members who typically will stick around for years to come … so you can stop plugging holes.

Prepare to polish. Investing in potential means that you’ll need the ability to see diamonds in the rough. Your new hire will have some ground to cover before they can compete head-on with those high-dollar resumes you’re seeing. But they’ll cover that ground under your watchful eye (and ours), so in the end you’ll have a team member who’s fully versed in doing things your way instead of bringing along bad habits from a previous job. And they’re typically up to speed and adding value in 90-120 days.

Fill in the background. The more we know about your company culture and the way you conduct business, the better we can match candidates to your openings. Take the time up front to consider the qualities in a candidate that will fit in well at your organization, and the ones that won’t. Replicate the personality traits of the past winners, and don’t get too caught up in look-alike resumes.

Look in-house. Nothing contributes to a great company culture, and a loyal team, more than the knowledge that there’s an internal path to career advancement. Assess your current staff and consider who’s ready for a more senior role, then upskill them in an apprenticeship program. You can backfill the chair they leave empty with a new more junior apprentice, usually an easier person to find.

Communicate. You found the perfect apprentice? Be prepared to encourage them along the way, celebrating each milestone as they pass their certifications and enjoy the corresponding pay raise. An open line of communication with their assigned mentor / Success Coach is also vital. They have the ear of your new hire and can get right to work on polishing any rough edges. This communication loop keeps small issues from becoming bigger ones and will make both you and the apprentice happier in the long run.

Ready to learn more about an apprenticeship program for your organization? Contact Franklin Apprenticeships.