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Scott Walker, Governor
Raymond Allen, Secretary

Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov

Wednesday, September 25, 2017
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/news/
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On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

Wisconsin Launches New Software Developer Apprenticeship

This new program marks the state's first-ever RA program covering the IT industry

MADISON – On Friday, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Apprenticeship officials joined officials at Mid-State Technical College (Mid-State) to launch the state's first-ever Registered Apprenticeship (RA) program covering the high-demand Information Technology (IT) industry.

"Under the leadership and direction of Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin has made significant investments to ensure that our workforce development programs are meeting the needs of Wisconsin's expanding economy," Secretary Allen said. "Today's launch of the new Software Developer Registered Apprenticeship program represents the growth and the positive direction of workforce development in Wisconsin."

Wisconsin DWD's Registered Apprenticeship program, which was created in 1911 and has served as a national model for generations, provides a value-added training model for as many as 11,000 apprentices and 2,500 employers in over 200 occupations across the state annually.

“Though Wisconsin’s rich history in apprenticeship dates back more than 100 years, the time has never been better to expand this apprenticeship model and bring it into new fields, like IT and healthcare,” said Bobbi Damrow, vice president, Workforce & Economic Development for Mid-State Technical College. “We’re truly excited about the ways we are increasing our responsiveness to local business and industry through new apprenticeships while providing attractive employment and academic options for our students.”

The software developer apprenticeship is among several new programs that DWD's Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards (BAS) is developing in the Wisconsin Apprenticeship Growth and Enhancement Strategies (WAGE$) project. The source of funding for WAGE$ is a $5 million American Apprenticeship Initiative Grant that was awarded in 2015 by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL).

Covered occupations span the Advanced Manufacturing, Health Care, and IT industries, and the project will expand upon other existing programs. Up to 1,000 new apprentices, including 542 incumbent workers will undergo training and skills development as part of WAGE$.

DWD is implementing the project in collaboration with the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) and the Wisconsin Workforce Development Association (WWDA).

A second new IT apprenticeship, for data analysts, is currently under development.

WAGE$ Occupations Under Development

Last month, DWD joined the Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board (SWWDB) and Blackhawk Technical College to announce the first employers to register to train apprentices in the maintenance technician and industrial electrician. The partners are also working to launch programs in welder/fabricator and mechatronics. Waukesha County Technical College and Gateway Technical College also are working to launch mechatronics apprenticeships.

DWD is also working to establish apprenticeships in the health care sector, including pharmacy technicians, medical assistants and an occupation covering long-term care.

Information about DWD's Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards