FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 2, 2021) – Gov. Andy Beshear announced today that he has awarded a $750,000 grant to Dataseam to expand an information technology (IT) registered apprenticeship program for up to 23 additional Kentucky counties, paving the way for 136 students to earn IT certifications.
The Louisville-based nonprofit Dataseam manages a powerful cloud-based high performance computing environment to benefit K-12 education, university research and workforce and economic development for high technology industries in Kentucky. The organization provides opportunities for students with workforce training and industry-standard certification at participating schools.
Gov. Beshear’s $750,000 grant from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Statewide Reserve Fund builds on a $1.5 million grant from the federal Appalachian Regional Commission that was awarded to Dataseam in 2020 to expand its IT pilot program in Eastern Kentucky. The students’ IT certification can be used to enter the workforce after high school with a highly skilled career and provide a foundation for a postsecondary science, technology, engineering and mathematics degree.
“This is another successful example of what we can accomplish when we put education first,” said Gov. Beshear. “Students are getting the instruction and training needed to build their careers beyond high school graduation with good-paying positions. The apprenticeship program’s expansion will also help businesses have a sustainable IT worker pipeline for critical jobs that will help Kentucky’s economy.”
The two-year Dataseam registered apprenticeship is approved by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and includes paid information technology jobs for students in participating school districts, on-the-job learning and mentoring and hands-on coursework. Student apprentices can earn two industry-standard certifications as part of earning the U.S. DOL Information Technology Support Specialist Certificate. The program will be implemented with guidance from the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet (EWDC).
“Dataseam’s efforts to provide training for industry-standard certifications for students while they are still in high school is a model for other industries in Kentucky. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act grant is further evidence that Dataseam is doing an exceptional job of training students for information technology jobs and the registered apprenticeship program is a worthwhile endeavor for both students and businesses in need of these professionals,” said Mary Pat Regan, Acting Secretary of the EWDC.
Brian Gupton, Dataseam’s chief executive officer, said, “Dataseam and its participating schools are most appreciative of Gov. Beshear and the Kentucky EWDC’s support of our U.S. DOL Registered Apprenticeship program. Not only do we have an innovative model to create a much-needed information technology workforce for the commonwealth, we are getting Kentuckians the skills to enter the workforce with meaningful, in-demand employment across many industry sectors much sooner in life.”
For more information about registered apprenticeships, visit the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet’s website.
The $1.5 million Appalachian Regional Commission funding was part of a competitive grant award totaling more than $5.5 million in Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce Economic Revitalization (POWER) funding for six projects in southern and eastern Kentucky. ARC invested $43.3 million into Appalachia’s coal-impacted communities through the POWER initiative in October 2020.
Dataseam, along with Participating Partner Schools, universities and organizations supports a unique ecosystem to advance education and research in Kentucky. In 2018, Dataseam funded and implemented a successful Information Technology Registered Apprenticeship Program pilot in conjunction with EWDC and the Kentucky Labor Cabinet. For more information about Dataseam, visit https://www.kydataseam.com/about.