BARR Founder and President Speaks at KC Tech Council’s Partnership Launch of Apprenti Program

February 2, 2021 |

On Tuesday, Jan. 26, BARR founder and president Brad Thies spoke during the KC Tech Council’s official partnership launch of Apprenti Kansas City. The presentation, titled “Tapping Into Talent: How to Elevate Your Community and Company Through Apprenticeship,” showcased how this new tech apprenticeship program will help diversify and grow the technology industry’s talent pipeline—something close to our hearts here at BARR.

BARR is an official hiring partner of Apprenti, with plans to fill client-facing roles with its apprentices. 

“This is such an important initiative,” said Thies to attendees. “While BARR happens to work in the cybersecurity space, we feel Apprenti will add a lot of value given the gap between tech jobs and tech talent. We have the privilege of working with clients from startups to public companies, which offers us and our future apprentices further perspective, bringing more diversity to the ideas and challenges we face in pursuing our mission to create a more secure world.”

Apprenti has already proven to be successful in 16 markets across the U.S.

“It’s an ideal way for medium and smaller employers to build a reliable pipeline for future tech talent,” said Erin Christensen, Kansas City’s Apprenti program manager. “Apprenti offers a diverse talent pool, with underrepresented populations making up about 70 percent of apprentices.”

Thies spoke alongside fellow hiring partner, Jeffrey Gray, CEO of CertTech, as well as representatives Sharice Davids (KS-03) and Emanuel Cleaver II (MO-05), who offered their support and excitement about the program coming to the Kansas City area.

After all, BARR is just one of many companies eagerly looking for tech talent. According to event speaker Jennifer Carlson, co-founder and executive director, Workforce Institute and Apprenti, tech job postings are up and the gap is continuing to widen.

“There’s not enough supply coming out of the four-year system to meet the demand,” said Carlson. “There were 65,000 computer science graduates across public and private universities last year, but more than 2 million jobs posted, and the Department of Commerce is forecasting the creation of 1.3 million new tech jobs by 2025.”

Event speakers discussed a number of Apprenti roles that could be created to help meet this demand, including:

  • Cloud operations
  • CRM/CMS developers
  • Cybersecurity analysts
  • Data center technicians
  • IT analysts
  • Network operations developers
  • Network security administrators
  • Software analysts
  • Software developers

And the list goes on. Positions can also be customized, allowing hiring partners to build new roles based on company demand. Another benefit is that participants of the Apprenti program, known as Apprentis, typically have five to 10 years of work experience, largely underemployed, with a median age of 33. 

“We’re moving them into an opportunity where they can thrive,” Carlson added. “Apprentis come in with hands-on experience, ready to sink their teeth in.”

If you’re a company, like BARR, looking for fresh tech talent, we encourage you to contact Christensen at [email protected] to find out how you can implement Apprenti within your own company, or contact us for more information.

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