Round Rock’s business climate has remained strong and is expected to remain strong for the foreseeable future. The community, however, must continue to address compounding workforce shortage issues. Without an ample, qualified workforce, the continued growth of our community and economy will be slowed or, even worse, stalled.
A strong apprenticeship ecosystem is one avenue to help address Round Rock’s workforce needs. Apprenticeships are essentially a training and development tool that allows an employee to learn in an on-the-job environment while providing the employer the ability to evaluate the employee’s long-term viability to the company. This “win-win” situation provides an ideal opportunity to grow the overall talent pool while ensuring employees’ are a good fit with an employer. Apprenticeship programs are no longer limited to the traditional blue collar industries that many may be familiar. Today, apprenticeship programs are opportunities to train the future workforce for all industries.
One such program is with one of our education partners, Austin Community College (ACC). ACC has been awarded a Department of Labor (DOL), Apprenticeship grant, The Texas is IT (TXIT) Apprenticeship Grant. ACC has committed over the term of the grant to enroll 350 participants into the program in the IT/IT-related industry, and they are seeking businesses in the Austin area to join them as an Apprenticeship partner.
TXIT will train 5,000 participants in apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs within 48 months focusing on “new collar adults” workers without bachelor’s degrees. The college will help employer partners build an apprenticeship pathway to middle and higher-skilled jobs focusing on training and employing the unemployed, underemployed, incumbent IT workers; veterans and military families; underserved populations including women, and persons of color.
ACC Apprenticeship Occupations include:
- Application Developer
- Computer Programmer
- Help Desk Technician
- Network Support Technician
Apprenticeship offer many benefits to the employer including:
- Develop highly-skilled employees with a stable, reliable pipeline of qualified workers.
- Reduce employee turnover Rate 91% of apprentices that complete an apprenticeship are still employed nine months later, creating career progressions to higher-level skills, positions, and wages.
- Save money as apprentices start out earning a lower salary than a fully trained employee.
- Lower the cost of recruitment through a systematic approach to training that ensures employees are trained and certified to produce at the highest skill levels required for the occupation.
- Defray costs of technical education as funds are available—$1,650 per apprentice or $1,150 per pre-apprentice
- Salary support for apprenticeship wages available to businesses with 50 or fewer employees
The TXIT team hosts a business information session on the first Tuesday of every month, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. To learn more about this program, register here.
The chamber is always on the lookout for innovative apprenticeship programs to share with our investor businesses. If you have insight into other such programs in Round Rock, please contact us.