Growing the Security Talent Pipeline Through IT Apprenticeship Programs

workforce development

As the security marketplace evolves, the industry should embrace hands-on workforce development partnerships between government and industry that will address the current skills shortage.

These practical learning opportunities for students will be made possible through the enactment of the “CHampioning Apprenticeships for New Careers and Employees in TECHnology Act” sponsored by U.S. Congressman Seth Moulton, D-Mass., and Senator Cory Garner, R-Colo. The bipartisan CHANCE in TECH Act will increase the pipeline of qualified employees for jobs in the converged security industry by encouraging public-private collaboration in new technology apprenticeship programs.

On Nov. 14, SIA joined a coalition of the “foremost technology organizations” in calling upon the Congressional leadership to expedite the passage of the CHANCE in TECH Act. Members of the coalition include The App Association, CompTIA, the Global Cyber Alliance, the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), the Semiconductor Industry Association, and the Software & Information Industry Association. Collectively, these organizations maintain this this legislation will help to address the overall workforce shortage in high-tech jobs.

If enacted into law, the CHANCE in TECH Act will create public-private partnerships to identify workforce development trends and create technology industry apprenticeship programs. The proposal will also establish an initiative to recognize those high schools and community colleges providing exemplary IT training and counseling through a new “CHANCE in Tech Awards for 21st Century Schools” award program. Apprenticeships would be offered to high school, STEM, and college and university students.

The CHANCE in TECH Act is an example of a renewed focused in apprenticeship programs by the Trump Administration and members of Congress. In June, President Trump signed an Executive Order to substantially increase the number of federal apprenticeship programs nationwide. Taken together, these initiatives will help to provide workers with the skills and knowledge to compete for high quality jobs.

As part of SIA’s strategy to Grow the Security Talent Pipeline, the CHANCE in TECH Act will build upon its past efforts to support industry apprenticeship programs such as the WBFAA UATC Apprenticeship and Training Program. SIA’s support for this program between 2001-2003 was critical in the development of a comprehensive apprentice program designed to be available nationwide. This program today serves as a model apprenticeship program for the industry.

We expect the same level of success for the programs envisioned by the CHANCE in TECH Act.