Interapt Growing Kentucky’s IT Workforce, Creating Net New Jobs
(FRANKFORT, KY) June 4, 2018 — In one of his last acts at the position, Kentucky Labor Secretary Derrick Ramsey recognized and awarded fourteen individuals from Eastern Kentucky to receive the Kentucky Department of Labor’s first ever Registered IT Apprenticeship Certifications. Secretary Ramsey was also joined by Acting Labor Secretary Mike Nemes and Deputy Commissioner Deborah Williamson.
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin recently named Ramsey to be Kentucky’s new Secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, which is responsible for educating, preparing, and training Kentucky’s current and future workforce. Among his many accomplishments as Kentucky’s Labor Secretary, Gov. Bevin’s office specifically noted Ramsey had “revived Kentucky’s Registered Apprenticeship Program to better recruit and train the next generation of workers.”
The recipients of Kentucky’s first Registered IT Apprenticeship Certificates are all currently employees of the Louisville-based IT firm, Interapt. In 2016, Interapt was challenged by state officials to enter Eastern Kentucky and train former coal miners, waiters, and individuals living there on government assistance to become Software Developers. In 2017, Interapt’s program became an official part of the Kentucky Department of Labor Apprenticeship program. Those who were hired by Interapt entered formal IT apprenticeship training at that time, and completed their requirement of 2,000 apprenticeship hours this spring. Interapt reports that the average annual salary of those who entered their training program was $17,000. Today, those same individuals are making up to $80,000 a year.
“I believe apprenticeship will change the trajectory of earning in our Commonwealth for a generation, if not two,” said Secretary Ramsey. “When people think of apprenticeship, they still think of construction. But the world has changed. There are incredible opportunities in IT. And so for us to be the great Commonwealth that I know we can be, we need people like [this], thinking differently, doing different things.”
“It was an honor to be able to train and hire so many fellow Kentuckians,” said Interapt CEO Ankur Gopal. “When they joined our training program, many of them had no idea what they were getting into. Now, they are some of our best performing employees.”
Nichole Clark went from being a manager at a chain restaurant in Paintsville to becoming a Quality Assurance Engineer now making double her former salary. Travis Tressler went from believing there were no opportunities for him to learn software while living in an Eastern Kentucky county with high unemployment, to now working as an Android developer making 5 times the salary he once made. Interapt’s inaugural Registered IT Apprenticeship graduate class has many more success stories like these.
While these Apprenticeship award recipients have all been hired by Interapt, Gopal went on to explain how support from other employers is vital to the overall success of Interapt’s apprenticeship programs: “Businesses across the country are struggling to find capable IT talent, but we are proving many of them can skill up workers within their own communities to meet demand. That’s why prominent companies like Humana, GE Appliances, and Chase Bank have already hired several graduates of our program.”
Gopal sees localized IT training and hiring trends gaining momentum as digital technology continues to drive the global business world, making employers feel the pain of today’s IT talent shortage more than ever: “Moving forward, companies that proactively seek new ways of identifying talent and fit will eventually view training programs like ours as a necessary and beneficial recruiting channel.”
Interapt will be rolling out several new training programs this fall in Kentucky and Georgia. To learn more about Interapt’s technology workforce programs and how you can bring them to your community, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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