Jamillah Moore Ed.D.

Putting America to Work

Amazon Partners With Department of Labor

Apprenticeship programs put veterans into the workforce

Posted Mar 09, 2017

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has established a partnership with Amazon to train and employ veterans for tech jobs.  According to the DOL, veterans are a growing untapped workforce, and Amazon veterans will be utilized to help close tech skills' gaps.  Last year, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos stated, "The company has a goal of hiring 25,000 veterans and military spouses by 2021 and training 10,000 more in computing skills."  The first wave of veterans hired into the program will be trained as Amazon Web Services support associates. 

ewddlacity.com
Source: ewddlacity.com

This is not the first partnership with a major company that the DOL has established.  They also have tapped Microsoft, IBM, Ford, and DOW, along with more than 100 other employers and colleges, which have implemented apprenticeship programs with the DOL.  The Microsoft Program provides a software and systems academy training that helps active duty U.S. service men and women transition to a career in technology.

The DOL emphasized that registered apprenticeships are innovative work-based learning and post-secondary earn and learn models that meet national standards.  An apprentice can earn a competitive wage and a paycheck from day one on the job.  In addition, apprentices earn incremental raises as their skill levels increase.  "The average wage for a fully proficient worker who completed an apprenticeship translates to $50,000 annually.  Apprentices who complete their program earn approximately $300,000 more over their career than non-apprenticeship participants" (Mathematica Apprenticeship Earnings Study, 2012).

Registered apprenticeship programs are a pathway to putting Americans back to work.  They are ideal for former military service individuals looking to transition into a career after serving their country.  These programs provide not only on the job training, but some include classroom instruction through technical schools and community colleges and distance education learning, which provide college credit.  Apprenticeship programs provide an opportunity for companies to gain access to an untapped resource of workers, develop highly-skilled employees, close the skills' gap, and create a pathway to a career for former military.

techrepublic.com
Source: techrepublic.com

According to Brandon Vigliarolo, with TechRepublic, “Veterans leaving the military don't always have the luxury of going to school for four years to get a computer science degree.  Luckily, there are options out there that can get you coding in just a few months, and several of them are catering to veterans.”  Coding Platoon’s apprenticeship program, which is a coding boot camp for veterans, is an excellent example of Vigliarolo’s research.  The program helps veterans transition into the civilian workforce by providing technical training and career placement. After completing a 16-week training program, veteran students are eligible for an internship.  Coding Platoon's women in technology fund also provides $500 scholarships for all female veteran participants.  Because of their training, military personnel are considered ready-made workers who demonstrate leadership skills, persistence, and a strong work ethic.

Lynda.com
Source: Lynda.com

In collaboration with the DOL and the support of major companies, apprenticeship programs provide veterans training and job opportunities that can lead to a lifetime career.  In addition, former military service men and women can earn college credit through these programs through the Registered Apprenticeship Consortium (RACC). This national network of postsecondary institutions, employers, unions and associations work in partnership with the DOL to create opportunities for apprentice graduates who may want to further enhance their skills by completing an Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree.  Filling the tech skills gap is one pathway toward placing Americans back into work.

References

"Earn and Learn" Registered Apprenticeship model and existing programs in a wide variety of industries.   https://21stcenturyapprenticeship.workforce3one.org/%2findex.aspx

Microsoft Military Affairs Programs.  https://military.microsoft.com/#decoder

An Effectiveness Assessment and Cost Benefit Analysis of Registered Apprenticeship in 10 States.  Mathematica Policy Research.  Oakland, CA

United States Department of Labor:  Apprenticeship USA.   https://www.dol.gov.

Code Platoon:  Code Camp for Veterans.  www.codeplatoon.org