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WTIA’s Apprenti program lands $23.5M grant from Dept. of Commerce to develop tech coaching program

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Jennifer Carlson, Apprenti’s director and co-founder, accepts the award for Geeks Give Back at the GeekWire Awards 2019 event in Seattle. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

The Apprenti apprenticeship program run by the Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) was awarded a $23.5 million grant to help train more tech workers across 11 states.

The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Commerce and is part of the $500 million Good Jobs Challenge funded by the American Rescue Plan. Apprenti, also known as the WTIA Workforce Institute, was among 32 projects nationwide to be awarded a grant out of more than 500 applications.

Launched in September 2016, Apprenti provides free training and apprenticeships for candidates looking to work in the tech sector. It focuses on providing economic mobility to underrepresented groups. The program says 85% of its participants are women, underrepresented racial minorities, military veterans or a combination of these categories. It has more than 29,000 applicants in its candidate pool.

Apprenti, which started in Washington and expanded nationally, receives support from participating businesses, federal and state grants, and philanthropic organizations. Partnering employers include Amazon, Boeing, and others. Apprenti has 23 employees.

The Apprenti program is offered nationally, and the funding from the Good Jobs grant will go to Alabama, Louisiana, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

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