The Director’s Chair: March Madness – March 2024

The Director's Chair cover with a older, balding white man with glasses on the left side. The Apprenticely logo is in the bottom right corner.


AROUND ACDS, WE’RE battening down the hatches, because the rest of 2024 looks like it’s going to be really exciting in our world of Registered Apprenticeships. As you may know by now, there are several variables that impact the number of actual apprentices employed throughout Arkansas. Probably the most impactful of those is the level of confidence our employers feel in the future economy, not to mention the trust of those employers in the apprenticeship model as a sound “onboarding” strategy.

For a little over four years now, we’ve been educating our state’s employers and talent pool about Registered Apprenticeships and ACDS’ unique “end-to-end” process, making apprenticeships an easy solution to both hiring and launching a career. That effort has clearly paid off, as ACDS has scaled to the point of being poised to process up to 400 apprenticeships a year, and that now includes four industry sectors in addition to IT—Manufacturing, Energy & Environment, Healthcare, and Transportation.

In fact, we did hit the 400-mark in 2023, and we have a couple of pieces of hard evidence that 400 is just a new baseline to grow from. One, on February 2, 2024, we registered our 1,000 th apprentice, whom you’ll meet elsewhere in this month’s newsletter. And, two, we will have registered a total of another 250 apprentices in the first quarter of 2024. So the current watchword for our ACDS team is, “Buckle up!” We look forward to having you and all our partners come along for the ride.–Bill Yoder
Executive Director