Director’s Chair: May 2020

A headshot of an old white man with white hair on the sides of his head wearing glasses, a black suit jacket, and a blue and white checkered shirt on the Director's Chair announcement.

IT IS GRADUATION time 2020, and across the country almost every commencement ceremony has been conducted virtually or not at all. Here in the time of COVID-19, it’s just not worth the risk of scheduling an event with that many participants.

We at ACDS have graduation ceremonies too. The final week of the classroom training portion of a Registered Apprenticeship Program generally includes a certificate ceremony marking the achievement of the apprentices who have successfully completed that work and are now moving full time to the on-the-job-training portion with an assigned mentor. These ceremonies are about acknowledging both the achievement of the individual apprentices and the ongoing commitment made by their employers.

We’re planning our third graduation/certificate ceremony this month. It’s to be held Wednesday, May 27, at 3:30 in the afternoon Central Time, and here’s the event link if you wish to attend: Certificate Ceremony. These ceremonies run an hour at most and generally include short comments by someone from State Government; the Training Instructor; representatives of the various employers involved; and ACDS. But primarily this is a time for the employers to congratulate their employees and thank the combined team that provided the training.

The mission of ACDS—a public-private partnership funded by state, federal, and private grants/donations—is to help close the gap between our state’s IT resource demand and our current supply. The Registered Apprenticeship Program is central to that effort, and even as much of the country has shut down or been reined in, we continue to invest in this program for the economic health of all Arkansans. Join us on the 27th and help celebrate these apprentices and their employers. Until then, be safe and stay well.

–Bill Yoder,

Executive Director