Apprenticeships — at the Intersection of Capability and Opportunity
The Arkansas Center for Data Sciences (ACDS) is a non-profit organization created to support all companies in the state of Arkansas that employ technology professionals. Our mission, working with the Office of Skills Development, is to develop and implement proven solutions to address the technical skills gap that exists and grow the talent and capability of the Arkansas workforce.
Through the nationally recognized apprenticeship program model, ACDS has helped companies implement a crucial staffing strategy for talent acquisition, development and retention. ACDS offers a full suite of services at no cost that includes customized training to meet the requirements of all the tech occupations that are in demand today. Our efforts to bring a diverse population of candidates to employers who have the need to fill open positions and how companies advance incumbent employees with apprenticeships, is where capability meets opportunity. Come see how the process works and join over 80 companies in Arkansas who are already engaged.
The learning objectives are:
- HR Professionals come to see apprenticeships as an important talent strategy
- How apprenticeships create opportunity for diverse candidates to enter professional roles
- Everyone attending learns enough about apprenticeships to engage further
Director of Apprenticeship at Arkansas Center for Data Sciences
Lonnie Emard worked for 18 years in the Information Technology organization for Amoco and 15 years for BlueCross BlueShield South Carolina Information Systems combining his technical knowledge with a unique set of leadership, organizational design, human capital and business strategy capabilities to become one of the national leaders in the field.
His background and experience, coupled with an ever-growing national skills gap, lead to his founding of a non-profit organization called IT-oLogy, where Lonnie served as President for 8 years. In running this collaborative, Lonnie brought academia, business, economic development, and government partners together to address the skills gap in the Information Technology profession.
As the Chief Growth Officer for BlueCross BlueShield South Carolina, he initiated the apprenticeship program that has delivered over 450 registered apprentices in IT, the largest number of any company in the US.
Since arriving in Arkansas in 2020, Lonnie is serving 2 roles in Arkansas to help shape the direction of the Office of Skills Development as a single apprenticeship organization in the state and serve as the Director of Apprenticeship for the Arkansas Center for Data Sciences. In 2020, because of ACDS’ and Lonnie’s efforts, Arkansas was second in the country for the number IT Registered Apprenticeships and as of July, 2021, ACDS has established over 200 new apprenticeships in IT.