Closing the Skills Gap

Closing the Skills Gap

Saturday, October 23, 2021

NC State University is partnering with ApprenticeshipNC and North Carolina employers to prepare individuals to assume entry-level roles in Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, and big data. The first full cohort started July of 2021, with a goal of 5,000 participants completing the training within the next four years.

There are specific skillsets needed in the information technology world, and employers are just not finding enough qualified candidates. “We need to think outside the box to close the skills gap,” says Dr. Carla Johnson, Executive Director of the AI Academy at NC State University. “We have worked with ApprenticeshipNC to identify companies interested in partnering to get their employees trained. Most large companies need between 30-40 skilled people in these roles. Some of our partners include Duke Energy, Lexmark, Northrup Grumman, and Booz Allen Hamilton.”

The AI apprenticeship program is a one-year program consisting of four courses. Participants earn two credentials that expand their skills, so they are able to fill the needs of their employers. Each course is designed and led by NC State University experts in Artificial Intelligence. “Now is a pivotal time to start a new program,” adds Johnson. “We are continuing to look for employer partners to fill cohorts starting in January and July of each year. That means employee training can begin relatively quickly, closing that skills gap. This program is a great option for growing talent.”

Johnson believes the relationship with ApprenticeshipNC is mutually beneficial. “They are a great resource for the state of North Carolina. They have given us advice, shared resources, and helped connect us with potential partners. In turn, I believe we have helped expand their connections to employers who might need their assistance in setting up other registered apprenticeship programs.”

To learn more about this or other apprenticeship opportunities, please reach out to your regional apprenticeship consultant