A Very Big Deal

Directors Chair

WE WANT TO say thanks to all the employers and partners who’ve told us they really like our new brand, Apprenticely.  On the other hand, I’ll admit that we encounter a few who look dumbfounded when they first hear the new name. But when we pose the question, “How do you do workforce?” and then answer it ourselves by saying, “Educators do it educationally; vendors do it technically; everyone tries to do it professionally and effectively…we do it Apprenticely, they generally smile and say, “I get it…and I like it!”

We told you last month that we aren’t going to take our eye off the “IT ball” one bit, and this edition of the Apprenticely Newsletter offers proof to that promise.  I challenge you to read every article and not find each one both fun and enlightening. And they’re packed with leading-edge applied technology—real or imagined.

As for apprenticeships, I’m proud to report that our total apprenticeship tally has doubled in the less-than-five-month period of 2024.  Between July 2019 and the end of December 2023, we processed some 700 apprentices. Now we’re not even through May 2024 and we’ve added another 700 apprentices to our count. Big deal, deal, or no deal?   When you think of the increased capacity that Arkansas employers are building to support and grow their businesses; when you consider the impressive economic impact that this increased workforce has on the State of Arkansas; when you take into account the life-changing effects these well-paying careers have on both the apprentices and their families—well, the question answers itself. These people have names and so do their family members, and I’m confident that each and every one of them would say that this is a very big deal indeed.

–Bill Yoder
Executive Director