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Nicholls State University will host a meeting for all sectors of employers to provide information on Apprenti Louisiana, the first registered technology apprenticeship program in Louisiana, in the Donald G. Bollinger Student Union at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, December 3.  

The program, launched by NexusLA, is based on the successful experience of the Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) in Seattle and throughout 11 other states.  

“This program works with tech employers to identify mid-tier jobs ready to be filled by highly competent people regardless of educational background and work experience. Apprenti Louisiana will actively recruit women, minorities and veterans to aid in diversifying the tech industry, but everyone is eligible and encouraged to apply,” reads apprenticareers.org. “Candidates selected for the program will be hired as an apprentice by a tech employer, receiving intensive classroom training and paid on-the-job training for a highly-skilled role in the tech industry.” 

Because of their success in the Capital Region, NexusLA was selected to partner in the university's expansion into short term/workforce training in IT, according to information released by Nicholls.  

Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) and Terrebonne Economic Development Authority (TEDA) are also partners of the program.  

“IT is becoming ubiquitous; essentially every employer, at some point, either directly employs or outsources IT professionals,” TEDA CEO Matt Rookard said.  “So a lot of times when people think about IT, they're only thinking about coding and development. The reality is that between cybersecurity and even IT troubleshooting, networking — all those sorts of skills are in incredible demand in the workforce.”  

NexusLA’s first cohort of 10 apprentices were trained as cybersecurity analysts. The participating employers included Blue Cross Blue Shield, General Informatics, EATEL, Trace Security and Transformyx 

The Bayou Region IT Support Professional cohort of apprentices are scheduled to begin training in June 2020 at Nicholls.  

Rookard said the program being short term and having business partners should help get more local IT professionals into the workforce and meet the demands of the growing profession.  

“Anytime we can identify a skills gap in the community and match the training programs, then those folks should have opportunities in the workforce,” Rookard said. “We want our local population to have the jobs that are being created here. 

Businesses can register for the public meeting on Tuesday here.  

“The meeting is to explain and roll out the program so that [businesses] understand what the training courses will look like and what the expectations are for the companies that we partner with. We're trying to go relatively broad because this could be banks, oil and gas companies, accounting firms or other types of businesses that need these services,” Rookard said. “We have a great training partner in Nicholls, but then we also have the framework set up by Apprenti that allows us to expand to the specific roles that are needed.” 

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