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California State Government and IBM Launch the State's First of its Kind Collaboration to Create Technology Apprenticeships

Nov 14, 2019

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the California Department of Industrial Relations, the California Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS), the Department of Technology (CDT), SEIU Local 1000 (Local 1000), and various state agencies along with IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced the state's first-ever public-private partnership focused on creating a technology apprenticeship program. This program will adopt IBM's proven apprenticeship model to address a statewide skills shortage in three critical fields: Mainframe System Administration (MSA), Software Engineering (SWE), and Application Development (AD).  

IBM Corporation logo. (PRNewsfoto/IBM)

Sponsors of the zSystems Apprenticeship Pilot Program are the California Government Operations Agency, Employment Development Department, California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, California Department of Technology, Franchise Tax Board, California Department of Industrial Relations, Department of Motor Vehicles, and SEIU Local 1000.  

Working alongside IBM, the CDT will adopt IBM's gold standard apprenticeship framework, which is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor, to upskill its current incumbent workforce and build a new corps of professionals with mainframe skills that are sought-after in state agencies as well as the private sector.

Local 1000's Research Department estimates that there is an 18.6% vacancy rate in state civil service IT positions, and currently not enough applicants with the right mix of skills to fill these jobs. By using IBM's apprenticeship program as a model, the California Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS) can fast-track new apprenticeship roles and directly address the skills gap by expanding access to new learning opportunities. Apprentices in the program will participate in on-the-job training, mentoring, and classes – all while earning a paycheck in an "earn while you learn" model that can provide valuable skills without the need to take on new student debt.

"We are looking forward to this apprenticeship program advancing our efforts to put more people into the mainframe jobs pipeline," said Amy Tong State Chief Information Officer and Director of the Department of Technology. "This program will offer those new to the workforce, as well as mid-career workers, an opportunity to acquire skills for in-demand public technology jobs as we move toward one digital government." 

"By placing skills – not credentials – at the center of training and education initiatives aimed at addressing the tech industry's skills gap, we can continue preparing more students and working professionals for new collar jobs that don't necessarily require a Bachelor's degree or a previous career in technology," said Kelli Jordan, Director of Career and Skills at IBM. "Our goal is to continue making the technology industry more inclusive, through initiatives like our scalable and replicable 21st century apprenticeship program model."

For two-thirds of the Fortune 100 and across the public sector, IBM Z plays an essential role in the transition to hybrid cloud environmentsi, especially where security, privacy and agility are paramount. There is a growing opportunity across the public and private sector to expand skill sets to prepare the next generation for jobs of the future. The State of California utilizes the latest IBM Z platform to provide the highest levels of secure availability to critical state programs, perform analytics and machine learning to improve field office operations, and process millions of transactions daily to deliver core citizen services.

Interested state employees can expect the application period to open this winter and anticipate coursework to begin in early 2020. The selection process includes an application screening, an oral interview, and a written aptitude test. Participating departments will select the most qualified applicants for the apprenticeship.

For more information visit the California Department of Industrial Relations and the California Department of Technology careers websites. You can also follow #NewCollarJobs or visit for more.

California Department of Technology Contact Information:
Bob Andosca
Information Officer II
(916) 324-2320

IBM Contact Information:
Isabel Peña Alfaro
IBM Communications





i"IBM Unveils z15 With Industry-First Data Privacy Capabilities"



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