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Broward College, The First College in Florida to Become a Registered Apprenticeship Program Sponsor in IT

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (April 10, 2019) – Broward College will soon offer the opportunity for residents to be part of Florida's first Information Technology (IT) Apprenticeship program. The College recently announced the program and will welcome its first cohort of apprentices in June.

Through the IT apprenticeship program, participating employers will work with the College to identify employees, or potential employees, who would benefit from additional training and certifications. The corporate partners will simultaneously pay their apprentices' program cost at Broward College, while also paying them as full-time employees. This program is part of a new venture from colleges across the country. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Apprenticeship called on institutions to sponsor apprenticeship programs due to a renewed interest in the practice.

Wheelhouse IT, a managed service provider with offices throughout the country, will be the program's first partner. Hotwire Communications, one of the nation's leading fiber optics telecommunications providers, is also finalizing a plan with Broward College to provide its current employees with access to the program. The starting wage for apprentices at both companies will be $10 an hour and will increase as they acquire more skills through the program's training and on-the-job experience.

"We're thrilled to spearhead this inaugural academic opportunity in our state," said Dr. Mildred Coyne, executive director of workforce education and economic development at Broward College. "This program is ideal for those looking to take the next, or even the first, step in their IT career. Our partners are employing apprentices who initially might not have qualified for a position due to lack of experience or required skills and are providing them with solidified pathways to advance their careers in a way they might not have been able to before."

Following completion of the College's related training instruction module (RTI), apprentices can earn a variety of nationally recognized industry certifications, including A+, Network+, Security+, Cloud+, and Project+. They will also have the option to pursue one of Broward College's IT degree programs as the certifications can apply toward an associate or bachelor's degree decreasing their time in College.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for IT specialists is expected to grow by 11 percent between 2016 and 2026, which is faster than average. Broward College's STEM pathway allows students to earn industry certifications that qualify them for entry-level and some specialist positions. By allowing apprentices to use their accredited certifications toward a degree program, the College is establishing a ladder that these prospective students can climb to higher-paying and highly skilled careers.

-BC-

About Broward College:
Serving more than 63,000 students annually, Broward College provides residents with certificate programs, two-year university-transfer degrees, two-year career degrees and baccalaureate degrees in selected programs. The mission of the College is to provide high-quality educational programs and services that are affordable and accessible to a diverse community of learners. For more information, visit www.broward.edu.

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