TEKsystems, a Maryland-based IT staffing firm with two Milwaukee-area offices, has joined Wisconsin’s Registered Apprenticeship program to train more workers for entry-level tech jobs.
The company, which was recently approved by the state Department of Workforce Development as a Registered Apprenticeship employer sponsor in the service desk field, will begin offering the program this spring.
TEKsystems provides IT staffing, talent management and services globally, including to many Fortune 500 companies. It has four Wisconsin offices, in Milwaukee, Brookfield, Appleton and Madison. In fall 2019, it opened its Milwaukee office at The 42 in the downtown Brewery District, which serves as its hub for recruiting tech workers both in the Milwaukee market and across the Midwest.
The company said it will manage recruiting, training and employment for the apprenticeship program through its four Wisconsin offices.
TEKsystems anticipates the program will launch with dozens of participants and “aims to support hundreds of individuals through the program” as it grows, a company spokeswoman said. Registered apprenticeships involve on-the-job training in the workplace, along with classwork. TEKsystems said it will pair each apprentice with a dedicated “talent advocate manager,” who will provide feedback and coaching throughout the program.
The MKE Tech Hub Coalition, a nonprofit organization focused on doubling tech talent in the region, supported TEKsystems’ participation in the RA program.
“Expanding the state’s Registered Apprenticeship programs in tech was one of the coalition’s first major initiatives. We have seen proven success in other parts of the country so we know it will work in southeastern Wisconsin,” said Laura Schmidt, chief talent development officer for the MKE Tech Coalition. “It creates new opportunities for individuals from diverse backgrounds to access (or advance in) tech careers at a time when our employers are unable to find the talent they need through traditional recruitment practices.”
Jobs in the service desk field include computer support technicians, technical analysts, service desk technicians, technical support specialists and help desk specialists.
Service desk technicians make between $42,000-$72,000 annually, according to estimates from Waukesha County Technical College.
Kevin Moore, director of business operations in Milwaukee for TEKsystems, said the goal is to provide an on-ramp for more people to participate in the tech workforce.
“We aspire to create more pathways to career success and to bring new talent into the workplace,” Moore said. “Our aim is that apprentices will become the next generation of cloud engineers, software engineers, data scientists and cybersecurity analysts.”