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Minnesota businesses are crediting the states apprenticeship movement in helping them increase diversity and bounce back from the pandemic

With the industry continuing to blossom apprenticeship programs are rapidly popping up across the country and no longer represent the blue-collar association much of society groups them with. Twin Cities employment training company Summit Academy started an apprenticeship movement around seven years ago in the area and it's now fueling Minnesota businesses that are hoping to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic. The new program has helped to accelerate the training and hiring of skilled IT workers as the requirement of a traditional four-year degree is no longer in effect in the state allowing for more people of color to be hired in creating more diversity in the tech industry.


“The North Side nonprofit employment trainer has expanded from the construction trades and entry-level health care careers to fast-growing IT credentials. More than 70% of Summit students are minorities. U.S. Bancorp, a growing Summit employment partner, and financial supporter has hired seven software developer apprentices from Summit within the last several months at starting salaries that top $60,000. Another five hires will be made by year's end. Andy Bingenheimer, a senior vice president of IT at USB, said the Summit partnership delivers talented, nontraditional hires into the IT department. The diverse hires fill in-demand jobs and often bring fresh approaches to technical issues and problem-solving.”


Summit Academy reportedly brought in around $9.1 million in revenue during the 2020' fiscal year.  Around half of that amount is coming from government grants while the rest was provided by private donations, corporate support, and earned income. Despite a drop in enrollment of programs across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic Summit has still seen an overall increase of 79 to 195 participants over the last couple of years. Greater MSP a regional economic development agency has also been working with companies Accenture, Aeon, and other companies to help to increase the number of white-collar apprenticeships in the area as well as across the state of Minnesota.


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