About Apprenticely

Changing Lives. Transforming Workforce.

Growing & Advancing the Workforce Through Registered Apprenticeship

Apprenticely, formerly the Arkansas Center for Data Sciences (ACDS), is a 501(c)3 nonprofit connecting employers with career seekers to help them attract, train, and retain top talent while also contributing to the growth of their industry and local economy. We do this through Work-Based-Learning internships, Registered Apprenticeships, and Pre-Apprenticeship training—at no cost to the employer or the career seeker.

We have helped over 150 employers transition to an additional staffing strategy—a supplemental way of finding talent to fill the positions they’ve been struggling to find candidates for. We’ve also equipped over 1,200 career seekers of all backgrounds with the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to start successful careers and fill in-demand jobs available in their area.

Apprenticely is a nonprofit working to solve a two-fold problem:

  • More people than ever are seeking careers but don’t have access to the training or experience they need to be successful.
  • Employers are struggling to find talent with the technical and business skills to fill their open positions.

Mission, Vision, and Values

Apprenticely Mission:

Implement innovative programs, foster strategic relationships, and strengthen educational pathways to bridge the skills gap between employers and talent.

Apprenticely Vision:

A vibrant, growing workforce across multiple industries is fueled by the Registered Apprenticeship model where a diverse pipeline of talent is equipped to fill the workforce needs of employers.


People First
Trusted Steward
Diversity and Inclusion, DEIA

Meet Our Team

Our team is passionate about helping career seekers gain relevant workforce skills in top companies while supporting the employers who hire and train them.

A headshot of Bill Yoder, an old, bald, white man wearing a suit.

Bill Yoder

Executive Director
Lonnie Emard headshot: A man with blonde hair, a black suit, blue shirt, and green tie is smiling.

Lonnie Emard

National Apprenticeship Director
A headshot of Ashley French, a middle aged woman wearing a blue shirt.

Ashley French

Director of Talent Management & Recruiting
A headshot of Don Walker, a balding man wearing a purple plaid shirt.

Don Walker

Director of Training
A headshot of April Ambrose, a white woman with shoulder-length brown hair wearing a green shirt.

April Ambrose

Director of Energy & Environment
A headshot of a man with thinning brown hair wearing a blue pinstriped suit with a yellow and blue striped tie.

David Mason

Employer Engagement Director - Manufacturing
A headshot of Lisa Wiggins, a middle-aged woman wearing a blue dress.

Lisa Wiggins

Director of Client Relations
A headshot of an older woman with short brown hair wearing a black turtleneck sweater.

Tammy Horton

Client Development Manager, NWA
A black and white headshot of a man with a light beard and a floral patterned shirt staring at the camera.

Alex Richardson

Client Development Manager, NEA
A professional headshot of a man with graying hair and blue eyes wearing a black jacket and blue dress shirt up against a black background.

Clint Hankinson

Director of Marketing
A headshot of Jim Morgan, an old man wearing a newsboy cap.

Jim Morgan

Editor, Apprenticely Newsletter
A headshot of Logan Hunt, a younger man wearing a suit with a blue tie.

Logan Hunt

Director of Project Management and Grant Administration

Gwen Pirkle

Project Manager
A headshot of Dawn Smith, a middle-aged woman with brown hair, wearing hoop earrings and a gray sweater.

Dawn Smith

Project Manager
A headshot of Amanda Champlin, a middle-aged woman wearing a floral shirt.

Amanda Champlin

Program Manager, Work-Based Learning
A headshot of Elise Long: a black woman with short hair and wearing an all blue suit.

Elise Long

Career Coach / Talent Recruiter
A headshot of Nichole Parsons, a young blonde woman.

Nichole Parsons

Senior Career Coach / Talent Recruiter
A headshot of Jenny Sales, a woman with thick, gently curled light brown hair.

Jenny Sales

Senior Career Coach / Talent Recruiter
A headshot of Catie Raines, a young woman with black hair and glasses.

Caitlynn Raines

Career Coach / Talent Recruiter
A headshot of Christa Hindman, a black woman with her hair up in a braid crown, wearing a yellow shirt with a Hibiscus plant in the background.

Christa Hindman

Grants Analyst

Board of Directors

Charles Morgan

CEO, First Orion

Michael Preston

Managing Director, Stephens, Inc

Warren Stephens

CEO, Stephens, Inc

Scott Spradley

Former CIO & CTO, Tyson Foods

Thomas Reilley

CHM, Highland Pellets

Blue Ribbon Commission

In 2017, former Governor Asa Hutchinson established the Blue Ribbon Commission to report on the Economic Competitiveness of Arkansas in Data Analytics and Computing (the “Commission”). The Commission, co-led by prominent industry leaders, consists of representatives from several top companies in Arkansas utilizing data analytics and computing in various industries. The Commission’s goal was to devise a plan for Arkansas to capitalize on the burgeoning data analytics and computing market, projected to reach a value of nearly $100 billion. The Commission acknowledged the significance of data analytics and computing in transforming the business landscape and saw it as vital for the state’s economic growth and job creation. Since then, they have continued to collaborate with existing companies to help them adopt data analytics and computing, making Arkansas a formidable player in the global market. The success of the Commission’s endeavors relies on the combination of short-term actions and a long-lasting public-private partnership.

We've Helped Over 150 Employers Find Qualified Talent.