Press Releases

CTA and IBM Announce Apprenticeship Coalition to Help Close U.S. Skills Gap

Jan 8, 2019

Las Vegas, NV – January 8, 2019 The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and IBM today will announce the launch of the CTA Apprenticeship Coalition, a major initiative that will create thousands of new apprenticeships in 20 U.S. states and help close the skills gap companies face in hiring new employees. IBM has pledged to add at least 450 apprenticeships a year for the next five years. The announcement will be made by IBM President, Chairman and CEO Ginni Rometty during her opening keynote at CES 2019, the most influential technology event in the world.

“At IBM, being an open and trusted company means going beyond the technology and working to understand and address the societal impact of it,” said Rometty. “Our commitment – and our entire industry’s obligation – is to build a workforce that is ‘tomorrow ready.’ This new Coalition allows us to scale apprenticeship programs nationwide and prepare more workers for the surging number of new collar jobs that require in-demand skills, but not always a four-year degree.”

The technology sector accounts for 10 percent of U.S. GDP. It is the fastest-growing part of the American economy. But there are not enough skilled workers to fill the 500,000 open high-tech jobs in the U.S. According to CTA’s Future of Work survey, tech executives report that, in the next five years, they will struggle to fill jobs in software development, data analytics and engineering.

To help solve the looming shortage of workers and ensure the technology sector remains key to America’s success, the CTA Apprenticeship Coalition provides frameworks for more than 15 different apprenticeship roles in fast-growing fields, including software engineering, data science and analytics, cybersecurity, mainframe system administration, creative design and program management. New apprenticeships will be modeled in large part on IBM’s successful apprenticeship program, which launched in 2017, is registered with the United States Department of Labor and has grown nearly twice as fast as expected.

The apprenticeships created by this Coalition provide pathways to tech jobs in all parts of the country — from Kansas to Minnesota to Louisiana — not just in traditional tech hubs on the coasts. Its goal is to widen the aperture when it comes to hiring by placing the focus on skills rather than specific degrees. From early-career professionals to mid-career transitions and everything in between, these apprenticeships represent a new pathway to success in 21st century careers, including the growing number of new collar roles where a traditional bachelor’s degree is not always required. They also offer an opportunity to build in-demand skills without taking on student debt.

Coalition members – including A&K Robotics,, Bosch, Canon, EVERFI, Ford, Future Ready Solutions, LOOK, OperationsInc., Phone2Action, Postmates, SoftBank Robotics, Sprint, TeamPeople, Toyota and Walmart – are committed to building their own apprenticeship programs or expanding their existing efforts.

“Tech innovations are creating new jobs and careers – and apprenticeships are one of the most successful types of work-based learning and will help revitalize the U.S. workforce from coast to coast,” said Gary Shapiro, President and CEO, CTA. “We’re excited to provide our members with a free resource that allows companies to establish and scale their apprenticeship programs. The future of our nation is based on ensuring Americans are prepared for jobs of the future that can be supported by a college degree, certification or apprenticeship.”

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About CES:

CES® is the world's gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. It has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for 50 years-the global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace. As the largest hands-on event of its kind, CES features all aspects of the industry. Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)TM, it attracts the world's business leaders and pioneering thinkers. Check out CES video highlights. Follow CES online at and on social.


About Consumer Technology Association:

Consumer Technology Association (CTA)TM is the trade association representing the $377 billion U.S. consumer technology industry, which supports more than 15 million U.S. jobs. More than 2,200 companies – 80 percent are small businesses and startups; others are among the world’s best-known brands – enjoy the benefits of CTA membership including policy advocacy, market research, technical education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CTA also owns and produces CES® – the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. Profits from CES are reinvested into CTA’s industry services.


About IBM:

IBM is a global technology and innovation company headquartered in Armonk, New York. For more information about IBM, visit



January 8-11, 2019, Las Vegas, NV

June 11-13, 2019, Shanghai, China



Bronwyn Flores
Ashley Bright 

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