Arizona organizations join tech apprenticeship initiative

Tech apprenticeship

ARIZONA@WORK and the Arizona Department of Economic Security are the first in Arizona to join a new national tech apprenticeship initiative, led by CompTIA and Maher & Maher.

The partnership launched to expand and diversify the tech workforce in Arizona, and across the U.S.

ARIZONA@WORK is working to build a skilled and qualified labor force that meets recruitment and training needs for employers throughout the state. The organization also offers employment readiness assistance to job seekers.

“This collaboration to meet the hiring needs of local employers for tech occupations is a win-win for our diverse population and for the future of a skilled workforce in Arizona,” said Willie Higgins, registered apprenticeship director with the Arizona Department of Economic Security’s Apprenticeship Office, in a statement.

Earlier this year, CompTIA’s Cyberstates 2021 report ranked Arizona’s tech sector eighth in the country for tech jobs gained last year. Arizona added about 2,500 jobs in 2020, while many states had a net loss of tech jobs last year. 

During the growth of the tech sector here in 2020, Arizona employers advertised openings for more than 108,000 IT positions.

“We can demonstrate to employers of any size and from any industry that by investing in training through apprenticeship, they can gain access to a diverse pool of candidates and create a predictable pipeline to meet their tech hiring needs,” said Amy Kardel, vice president for strategic workforce relationships at CompTIA. 

The CompTIA Apprenticeships for Tech will first focus on three job roles: tech support specialist, network support specialist and cybersecurity support technician. These three programs for entry-level tech jobs were approved by the U.S. Department of Labor. 

GateWay Community College registered the first program using the CompTIA National Guideline Standards in Arizona. The technology support specialist apprenticeship program at the college will begin this summer. 

CompTIA and Maher & Maher were selected by the U.S. Department of Labor to lead the national apprenticeship initiative. The initiative was launched to increase the number of trained and certified workers to fill high-demand tech positions, especially underrepresented groups, like women, people of color and individuals with disabilities.