When GateWay Community College announced the launch of a new apprenticeship program in the IT field this past summer, it promised high-quality classroom training that could be completed in just four months, followed by paid, on-the-job training through local employers. This past Friday, GateWay hosted “Employer’s Day,” featuring large Arizona companies such as Granite Computer Solutions and PK Tech, all with the goal to hire GateWay students into their company as part of the program.
"Employers need quality job applicants, and our program accomplishes that in an expedited way," said Jessica Brosilo, manager of apprenticeships at GateWay. “This event connects skilled apprentices to partnering employers, who are offering paid, full-time opportunities to learn and grow with the company.”
The school's program is gaining momentum as Arizona has seen increasing employer demand for technology workers in various occupations. In 2020, employers across the state advertised job openings for more than 108,000 tech occupations, according to CompTIA Cyberstates.
"This apprenticeship program has one goal, get students into paid jobs as quickly as possible," said Dr. Amy Diaz, interim president of GateWay Community College. "It’s an affordable option that allows for those with minimal IT knowledge to start a career in a high demand, high growth industry.”
In March, the federal government announced nearly $90 million in grants to expand apprenticeship programs across the country. As a local leader of apprenticeship programs, GateWay believes the IT apprenticeship program addresses a substantial need in the local market.
“Apprenticeships have been under-utilized in the tech workforce,” said Dr. Steven Meneses, dean of business, technology, and trades at Gateway. “Through this program, we are serving our community by directly connecting students with the employers who need them. I can’t think of a better win-win situation than that.”
With businesses struggling to find qualified candidates, employers are eager to partner with a workforce development leader such as GateWay.
"Based on the initial response, I foresee this program growing rapidly," said Brosilo. “We will continue to find new, innovative ways to meet the needs of our students and our community.”
In the coming months, GateWay will consider expanding its apprenticeship program based on the needs of employers and the state. According to a recent study done by PayScale.com, GateWay is now ranked #35 in the nation for graduate earnings compared to other public community college options.
For information about the technical support specialist apprenticeship at GateWay Community College, visit www.gatewaycc.edu/programs/tech-support-specialist.