With workforce development at the forefront of many companies' minds as of late, finding alternative ways of recruiting & retaining skilled talent has seen an uptick as well. On the other side, with student loan debt soaring, many people coming out of high school are realizing that college may not be the best option for them. These factors are causing employers to think differently about pathways to career success, leading many to consider apprenticeships as a solution. One company that has been leading the charge in providing these alternatives is TranZed Apprenticeships. Their growth has seen their apprenticeships start programs in the surrounding Mid-Atlantic area, that provide support and training in industries including IT, Digital Media, Cyber Security, Healthcare, and Education with programs registered in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC. TranZed’s consultancy and management services work with partners and programs across the county.
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This month, our marketing team at ApprentiScope had the privilege of sitting down with their Managing Director, Erin Finnegan-Smith, and their Engagement Manager, Gail Robinson, to discuss their goals, successes, and future plans.
According to Finnegan-Smith, the main goal of TranZed apprenticeships is,
“TranZed Apprenticeships is a non-profit with a mission of expanding opportunities for individuals to gain family-sustaining careers through Registered Apprenticeship. Our goal is to build programs that meet the needs of employers struggling to fill entry and middle-skill positions while creating pathways for historically underrepresented populations to gain entrance into new careers.
Erin Finnegan- Smith, Managing Director at Tranzed Apprenticeships
TranZed Apprenticeships has worked tirelessly to advance modern apprenticeships throughout the United States and currently offers apprenticeship programs to work to address the need for alternative career paths in America. Their apprenticeships combine on-the-job training with competency and project-based training as well as related classroom instruction. Under their current set up apprentices will experience the earn-and-learn model where apprentices are hired and start to earn money on their first day and receive intermittent pay increases as they gain additional skills and master their occupations.
For every TranZed apprentice, they will have to complete a minimum of 144 hours of classroom training combining both academic aspects as well as hands-on experience that will help to maintain the apprentice’s occupational competence and address the employer’s business needs. Each particular apprenticeship instruction is very flexible and can be tailored in partnership with the interested employer, and will often be project-based.
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Throughout their apprenticeship, program participants will also receive things like wage increases as well as skills attained through training. Apprentices will have individualized learning programs that include attainable goals to ensure the participant's progress. Upon graduation from their program, more than 89% of apprentices have reported improved career prospects.
TranZed’s partners with associations and other member organizations, like The Technology Council of Central Pennsylvania (TCCP) a technology trade association whose mission is to connect members and organizations to promote technology and fuel economic development throughout the Central Pennsylvania region. The program will go on to support TranZed Apprenticeships’ DiverseIT initiative which focuses on areas throughout Pennsylvania where industry leaders have expressed a need to diversify and enrich their talent pool. Through DiverseIT, TranZed connects untapped talent with employers through registered apprenticeship programs.
Earlier this year TranZed apprenticeships placed an information technology apprentice at Morefield Communications in Pennsylvania. The apprentice had previously graduated from TranZed Apprenticeships’ sponsored pre-apprenticeship program run by a supporting partner and technology training organization. The pre-apprenticeship helps provide apprentices with the skills necessary to meet the requirements of employers on day one. For most of its programs, TranZed strives to have industry-recognized credentials connected to all of its apprenticeship programs. For their Pennsylvania-based apprenticeship in IT, an apprentice would often earn certifications through CompTIA.
As we moved towards the closing questions of our interview with Erin and Gail we asked what kinds of goals and aspirations they have for TranZed apprenticeships moving into the future as well as how they are leveraging their partnership with ApprentiScope to do so,
They responded with,
“We are very interested in getting more into the healthcare industry as well as exploring inclusive apprenticeship programs that support individuals on the autism spectrum. We work with a lot of employers and partners and ApprentiScope makes it very easy for us to track progress, pull reports, and give updates as requested/needed.”
Gail Robinson, Engagement Manager at TranZed Apprenticeships