Episode 3: Jennifer Carlson, Executive Director of WTIA Workforce Institute.

Jennifer CarlsonInclusive apprenticeship programs can help employers train their future workforce. Jennifer said “We can’t create enough talent out of the traditional university ranks. We’re graduating approximately 75,000 people a year from computer science degrees, which is the first line of defense where companies go for talent. On average, there are 3 million jobs posted in tech every year. Investing in creating new talent is actually more effective and less costly, and it creates a more loyal workforce for companies that are making this investment.”

Transcript

Intro: [00:00:00.96] Welcome to the Workology Podcast, a podcast for the disruptive workplace leader. Join host Jessica Miller-Merrell, founder of Workology.com, as she sits down and gets to the bottom of trends, tools, and case studies for the business leader, HR and recruiting professional who is tired of the status quo. Now, here’s Jessica with this episode of Workology.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:00:26.19] More and more companies are discovering a proven strategy for building a highly skilled workforce supporting the growth and success of their business, and that is through apprenticeship programs. Combining classroom instruction with on-the-job training, apprenticeship programs can help your company bring experience and diverse talent into the workplace. This Workology podcast is sponsored by Workology. This episode of the Workology podcast is part of a new podcast series powered by the Partnership on Inclusive Apprenticeship, or PIA. PIA is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, or ODEP. In November of last year, ODEP launched PIA to ensure all apprenticeship programs are inclusive and accessible to people with disabilities. PIA collaborates with employers and apprenticeship programs to help meet employer talent needs and enable people with disabilities to benefit from apprenticeships that can increase their opportunities for lifelong access to high growth and high demand jobs. Today, I’m joined by Jennifer Carlson. She’s the executive director of the WTIA Workforce Institute. WTIA stands for Washington Technology Industry Association. Apprenti is part of the WTIA Workforce Institute program and provides a proven, reliable pipeline for connecting underrepresented groups, including people of color, women, and veterans to the necessary training and hands-on skills needed to be successful in the talent-hungry tech industry. Jennifer, welcome back to the Workology podcast.

Jennifer Carlson: [00:02:06.45] Thanks for having me. It’s great to be here.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:02:08.55] For those that missed the first episode, our first interview together, can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got involved in the apprenticeship space, particularly with the focus on inclusion?

Jennifer Carlson: [00:02:19.56] Yeah, so I come from Insurance and Fortune 250 companies and working in the space of both being a business owner, but also a leader of some tech projects and seeing some of the limitations on the amount of tech talent that was available and how companies qualified diversity within their organizations. And as the rare woman usually at the table when it came to the executive ranks, it was you know personally gratifying, but also frustrating to see so little diversity and opportunity being created at that senior level. And so, when I came to Seattle, it was an opportunity to move into tech directly and I went to work for the trade association to get a better grip and understanding on the sector. And it was clear to me very quickly that that problem I was seeing in insurance and other sectors was exponentially greater when it came to tech companies, and all companies that were members of the association were trying to understand what to do or try to collaborate on ways to be more effective in attracting diversity, but also in how to create more tech talent to, to fill the need. And so, I had the opportunity to look at what a number of organizations across the country were doing in this space and apprenticeship seemed to be a foundational way to build a scalable system that each organization was kind of doing one-off versions or deviations of that and, but not collectively. And that’s a big foundational problem that I was quick to solve and identify as simply that we needed something that could scale on a national footprint. And so, it really wasn’t anything of a brilliant idea, as much of a stealing of an idea that was already functioning in other parts of the globe and just applying it here.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:04:17.91] I think it’s awesome and yes, the scalability piece, being able to serve the tech industry and then to bring in large groups of people, provide them training and resources from different backgrounds is amazing. Everybody wants a talent pipeline like that, not just tech, but I think it’s awesome what you’re, what you’re working on.

Jennifer Carlson: [00:04:38.85] Thanks. And, you know, it’s great to see companies, not only in the last year, but for the last several years, start to recognize that their workforce needs to be more reflective of the general populace and that has opened the door to creating opportunities for people with non-traditional backgrounds to get into the sector. And so, we’re solving two problems at the hand of one. Apprenticeship helps create new talent but is also addressing a diversity gap.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:05:05.92] Apprenti is what is called an apprenticeship intermediary organization, or an AIO. Can you talk a little bit about what that means?

Jennifer Carlson: [00:05:15.85] Oh, government acronyms. Yes. So, our role is basically to facilitate the development of apprenticeship within companies where a company-focused product for companies to, to use to fulfill their needs. So, we bridge the access to prospective tech talent. We prequalify that talent to show that there’s high aptitude. So, it’s not about can you whiteboard and walk in the door with existing talent? It’s are you coming to the table with skills that we can train you into these roles and then solve for some other problems that companies have in terms of government compliance is not necessarily their strong suit or something that they want to be engaged in. So, we started just filling in, doing the work that companies wanted assistance with and in the process became the definition of an intermediary working on their behalf.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:06:20.56] One of the areas I think is really important with apprenticeships are that they are able to, like you said, scale quickly, but they are also reflective of our current situation. Maybe some of us are working a hybrid model or being remote. Can you talk a little bit about why the apprenticeships are important now and maybe dive into a couple of those areas?

Jennifer Carlson: [00:06:45.23] Yeah, so apprenticeships are important now for, I think, a whole host of obvious reasons. Number one is we can’t create enough talent out of the traditional university ranks.

Jennifer Carlson: [00:07:00.86] We’re graduating roughly seventy-five thousand people a year from computer science degrees, which is the first line of defense that companies go and attract from when it comes to tech roles, and all companies or tech companies. So, everybody is competing for the same tech talent, whether you’re JPMorgan Chase or you’re Starbucks or you’re REI or Bank of America. Like everybody is competing with Amazon and Microsoft and SAP and other companies for that tech talent. And there are, on average, over three million jobs a year posted in tech. And we’re forecasting one point five million net new jobs created in the next few years. Seventy-five thousand graduates a year can’t cut that. And, and so that means that we’re in a position where we’re poaching talent, which is ultimately driving the cost of talent up, that will, you know, is already, in some cases at an untenable level.

Jennifer Carlson: [00:08:03.02] So investing for companies in creating new talent is actually more effective, less costly. And because people want to see a company make an investment in them, it’s creating a more loyal workforce to the company. And by making that investment in creating that net new talent, it also opens the door to us bringing in all of that diversity that we were talking about that was missing from our sector. And it’s interesting to me that even in all of the 1100, 1200 hundred placements we have in a relatively short period of time, the idea that this is a high school diploma and up program hasn’t negated the fact that half of the people we’re placing have a college degree of some kind. It’s just that they’re not coming from the major university, they’re not in STEM. And if what we’re looking for is people with high grit that have the potential for this work, people who have gone to school night and working weekends while working full time, or people who have done online school while working full time, have as much, if not higher grit and potential than I think the person who at 18 went through four years of college and a more traditional route. And companies are seeing the value of that. The median age in our program is thirty-three. So, these are people coming in with 10 plus years of other work experience that know how to bring those skills to the job and show up for work.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:09:33.71] I love that. They’re not just kids right out of college. These are adults with work experiences and life experiences that they can pull from and bring that into the organization.

Jennifer Carlson: [00:09:46.19] Yeah, and I mean, to be fair, we’ve placed 18-year-olds. Absolutely. Are they capable? Yes. Not everybody has college in their future. And that’s not a good fit for everybody. It doesn’t make them less capable of doing the work. But the other end of the spectrum is also true. We’ve placed 63-year-olds who have a long life of work that are also, for whatever reason, needing to go back into the workforce. And this is an opportunity for them to, to get back in and reskill and apply that life of knowledge.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:10:19.85] I’m so happy that employers are open to people with non-traditional backgrounds, are not from the top 10 schools in the country. I’m, I graduated from a state school and have a really unorthodox background. It’s OK to be different. There is still a lot of value, so much value, that these people can bring to an organization.

Jennifer Carlson: [00:10:44.06] Agreed. I’ve got a great message on LinkedIn and I had to write this down the other day. Unity and diversity, that there’s unity in diversity. The idea that we don’t all have to have the same mechanical background to do that work is, I think, a proof point of apprenticeship, that we create new ways to look at the world that help us if we expand the aperture a little bit farther and create an inclusive environment.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:11:13.82] Let’s talk a little bit more about diversity and inclusion. What are you seeing from employers? I mean, how is apprenticeships, how are apprenticeships, helping in that D&I efforts? What types of different groups are being representative are, that are going through your program and also want to touch on some accessibility topics, too.

Jennifer Carlson: [00:11:36.92] Sure. So, we’re seeing, like I said, a wide range of high school diploma to some college to two-year associate degrees to four-year degrees, and we’re even seeing some career transitional with graduate degrees. The inclusivity on a company’s part is as much about the diversity side as it is about making space for people to integrate into teams that don’t have the traditional education. That has actually been called out by several employers now as the place that they focus or had to focus some energy on inclusivity, not about the diversity of the workforce, but about the, the diversity or the difference in an educational attainment. Because the industry has been so heavily built, as you said, on those top ten ranked schools with a specific degree type. And I think that’s probably going to be one of the greatest pain points for companies as they think about culture. So, our focus was on underrepresented minorities, women, veterans, and that’s where we started the program.

Jennifer Carlson: [00:12:49.10] Women, I think, are 19 to 21 percent of the tech sector. But of course, we’re 50 percent of the workforce. So, we’ve opted out for a variety of reasons of working in this field that we haven’t made that opt-out in medical industries. And so, this is about creating a more welcoming environment and ultimately creating alternate pathways for people of color to get into this, who have degrees and maybe weren’t still considered. The subset that’s interesting is that 10 percent, almost 11 percent now, have self-identified as having a disability, wasn’t originally a target. But as we think about PIA specifically, and this, this partnership on inclusive apprenticeship, it’s around how do we create a working environment that works for everyone? And I think one of the silver linings, if you want to look at it that way around Covid, is that is we’ve migrated to a remote workforce and companies were having difficulty or really maybe struggling with what is making an accommodation look like? In a traditional world, it’s always been about elevators and meeting times and ergonomics. Those were things they understood. But as we’ve branched more into neurodiversity, what did that need to look like? And companies have struggled a little bit with that. The best thing that can happen is, then let people work from home. They’re living in an environment that’s already conducive to the accommodations they needed and can log in and be just as effective remotely as they could have if they were on site, perhaps even more. So, it’s creating a lot of opportunities for companies to look at inclusivity differently, both from a traditional diversity background, but also on inclusivity by being able to do it remote.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:14:44.69] I love that. I’m a huge fan of remote work and, and it is offering up so many opportunities to people in so many different ways from a variety of backgrounds. And you’re absolutely right. Their home is already set up and it is accessible and they’re comfortable. So, the only, some of the challenges I think, are really accessible technology for employers to think about when they are allowing them or having them be an employee of their organization.

Jennifer Carlson: [00:15:14.96] Yeah, agreed. And accessible software, some companies are further ahead of the curve on that. There are lots of options, but the government, through the ADA, is also supporting, trying to figure out how to make that more accessible, making investments in companies and industries, creating more accessible software and hardware so that it can be done this way and be inclusive for everybody. And so those, those programs that are being launched are going to create, I think, a whole cottage industry around supporting people with disabilities getting into these jobs. They’re no different than anybody else in the ability to, to do the work and now apprenticeship creates the door opening to get them the skill level they need to be competitive. And if they can do it remotely, then I think we’ve removed the bulk of the barriers.

Break: [00:16:09.71] Let’s take a reset. This is Jessica Miller-Merrell and you are listening to the Workology podcast. Today we are talking with Jennifer Carlson about apprenticeships for people with disabilities. This podcast is sponsored by Workology and is part of our apprenticeship series with the Partnership on Inclusive Apprenticeships or PIA.

Break: [00:16:30.71] This episode of the work podcast is part of a new podcast series powered by the Partnership on Inclusive Apprenticeship, or PIA. PIA is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, ODEP. In November, ODEP launched PIA to ensure all apprenticeship programs are inclusive and accessible to people with disabilities. PIA collaborates with employers and apprenticeship programs to help meet employer talent needs and enable people with disabilities to benefit from apprenticeships that increase their opportunities for lifelong access to high-growth, high-demand jobs.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:17:09.26] Another thing that these apprenticeships provide, they get their training, they get the support, and then they’re able to go into a job, but it also impacts the earning power. For people with disabilities, in particular, I wanted to ask you, what could apprenticeships mean for their earning power and career development?

Jennifer Carlson: [00:17:29.57] Well, I mean, I can’t speak to individual earning power. What I can say is that persons with disabilities are the highest unemployed population and frequently overlooked in the country. So economic mobility is a huge positive in apprenticeship, broadly speaking, not only for them, it’ll just disproportionately affect them because they are the largest unemployed population, in a positive way. So, the median income coming into our program, in particular for Apprenti, is around 38,000 dollars for those who are employed, but frequently without benefits and are frequently in service industry jobs. And in apprenticeship, the median wage is $56,000 plus benefits, and that’s for that year of employment where they’re earning and learning on the job with a mentor. And then we have an 85 percent retention rate. So, they’re staying with the employers that they’re working with 85 percent of the time and being retained at the end of that term, and their salary median is going up to $80,000. And 29 percent of the folks coming into the program were unemployed or long-term unemployed coming in the door.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:18:47.34] That’s life-changing, like the numbers that you just said. Those are, those are life-changing numbers for families and individuals. And, and that’s amazing

Jennifer Carlson: [00:18:58.74] Well, and so I think, as incredible as those numbers are, those numbers are still predicated on a local geography, access to a job, because home base is Seattle, Boston is Boston. I think what we’re going to see and maybe some, some numbers coming in slightly lower than that, but that means that the door is opening to that remote work existing where the person is. So perhaps if they live in a less expensive part of the country, they may earn a little less, but have the flexibility of logging in and working for a company in another geography, which still creates a huge opportunity for career advancement and an opportunity for earning. But where they are, rather than having to relocate or be co-located in a major market.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:19:51.37] Still what impacts unemployment, long-term unemployment is that career development piece.

Jennifer Carlson: [00:19:57.01] Absolutely.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:19:58.30] What do you see as the value of apprenticeships, particularly those that focus on inclusion, bringing to companies? Do you have any examples for us like the business case in terms of hiring apprenticeships, maybe focused on people with disabilities?

Jennifer Carlson: [00:20:16.63] So, you know, it’s still early in process and there are white papers and process around this. The business case, let’s, let’s just speak very broadly. The business case is that for the cost of a company, let’s, let’s talk about what goes into the cost of attracting new talent. You have an in-house recruiter, the person who’s responsible with going to market. You have the interview loops that a person goes through. You have offers extended that aren’t accepted, so you have to achieve more offers than you do headcount, typically, in order to get to fill those roles. You have the loss of productivity during the time that job is posted and not yet filled. And then there’s the acquisition cost itself. Is that person being lured from another company? You have to increase the salary.

Jennifer Carlson: [00:21:11.50] Sometimes there’s relo expenses, sometimes there’s stock options and other incentives to get them to come. When it comes to an apprentice, there is virtually no cost from a recruitment standpoint, because I have an existing pipeline of candidates, 25,000 people deep, largely diverse, 84 percent of them diverse populations. And we do the prescreening as a nonprofit and, and focused on trying to expand apprenticeship into nontraditional sectors, we’re paid by the government to do this work. And the cost to the company now is really a portion of the classroom training, which can be anywhere from five to eleven thousand dollars on the company’s shoulders. We source the funding to help offset additional costs. We source the partners in the market to support the apprentices. The company has to put up the headcount and they can forecast that start date to know when they’re going to have that job filled by the person that they’re interviewing and choosing to sponsor into apprenticeship.

Jennifer Carlson: [00:22:17.99] And we’re delivering a two to one ratio of curated talent. So, there are fewer people going through the interview loop and a lower acquisition cost because apprenticeship is a protected wage class. So, you’re paying them a training wage that is roughly 60 to 70 percent of the wage of a qualified person in that job. So, the savings that they get in that reduced salary while that person is learning to grow into the job and fill that role offsets the investment that they’re making on the training side, both with the mentor and the classroom that that five to eleven thousand dollars that they’re going to write a check for is going to get that person technically up to speed.

Jennifer Carlson: [00:23:02.03] There’s, it’s money in their pocket in the numbers that we’re seeing are roughly 28, 22 to 28 percent less expensive to build an apprentice than it is to go to market and start from scratch looking for a person. And that’s a fully loaded cost from the acquisition of the computer that you have to give that person when they get to job, to ERGs if you have allowances for headcount. That’s a fully loaded, fully burdened everything in, 22 to 28 percent savings on creation of talent versus acquisition of talent.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:23:40.61] I love that. It just takes time to, to build out your program. You just don’t serve them up tomorrow, fully ready to go.

Jennifer Carlson: [00:23:48.11] Right. But you’re looking at that talent being ready for you in three to four months down the road.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:23:52.85] That’s still a great timeline.

Jennifer Carlson: [00:23:55.19] When you think about how long jobs sit open and how many people you have to put through interview loops to fill those roles, it’s really just a mindset that the companies have to look at to say on June 1, I want 10 people. While the backup to that means I’m interviewing them in January and February and they’re going to class late February to March, and you’ll get them on June 1. And so, if you can do that inside your business, no matter what the size of your company is, and know that that headcount will be there either because of turnover or because of approved budgets, then apprenticeship is a perfectly viable way to do that, as opposed to the constant churn of are we going to get them or aren’t we?

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:24:35.56] Time to fill numbers are still really high right now. While you’re talking, I was like, I wonder what those numbers are. And so, I’m pulling from a report from 2020, says the average employer is taking 69 days to fill a tech role. And you’re saying that they can go through your program and it’s roughly approximately the same time, just a few days difference, and you can have a cost savings of over 20 percent.

Jennifer Carlson: [00:25:02.02] Correct.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:25:03.36] Sounds like a deal to me.

Jennifer Carlson: [00:25:04.89] Yeah, and even if it’s a little bit more, it’s still the certainty of knowing that you’ve got the candidates coming in the door that are tech-ready and can hit the ground somewhat running. They’re at least walking when they walk in the door. And these are what we call middle-skill roles. These are not your entry-level, help desk-type positions. These are software developer, cloud administrator, security analyst, business intelligence. These are roles that you’re spending more to do acquisition on and are not likely to be the kinds of roles that you downsize very rapidly in your organization. So, these are the positions that you spend equally as much as you do recruiting for as you do your senior level roles. And if that’s the case, then your talent acquisition cost is already too high. So why not parse off a percentage of those roles to run through apprenticeship while, and then focus your attention on the job that truly require the college degree or higher?

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:26:07.26] I want to make sure to reference an Accenture report which shows companies who embrace best practices for employing and supporting more people with disabilities earn 28 percent higher revenue, double the net income, and have a 30 percent higher economic profit margin than their peers. And I’ll link to the Accenture report in the show notes of the Workology podcast. But yes, I love what Apprenti’s doing, their program. You’re able to customize. You get people on the ground running, so to speak, that are coming to your organization. They get the skills and the training and you’re, you’re helping develop a really diverse and inclusive population of people who might otherwise be overlooked, or they have been overlooked for those opportunities.

Jennifer Carlson: [00:26:54.93] And we’re opening the aperture a little farther. It’s not that we, we don’t have enough domestic talent to do the work. It’s that we need to make an investment in the domestic talent to appropriately skill them for the workforce. And if we do that, there is an ample amount of talent here to be found.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:27:16.47] I wanted to ask you what HR leaders can do to create opportunities or where do they begin when developing an apprenticeship program?

Jennifer Carlson: [00:27:26.98] So two things. Start with looking at your roles because you’ve artificially put the college degree requirement on everything and start really pragmatically looking at what roles can be done with a certification, with the right level of classroom training that can be done at an accelerated pace and segment those roles out so that those are where you start to focus your attention for apprenticeship. And then get your executive leadership buy-in that this is a direction that you’re going to take for those roles, that you’re going to create a training, and shift from consuming talent to also having the ability to invest in creating talent.

Jennifer Carlson: [00:28:11.32] And if you’ve got your leadership bought into that, then the door is open to talking about are you going to build this for yourselves internally? And it’s going to become a core principle of your company, or is this something where you need outside partnership to show you the way and perhaps help you scale it easier? And then you call an organization like us and then we can sit down with you and roadmap either of those options.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:28:39.29] I feel like you can also help provide them some guidance for that business case. This is a lot of what we have talked about today with the Accenture report and then resources that you guys have available to help them communicate and talk to and kind of put together and I guess plant the seed with those executive leaders on what an apprenticeship program could look like and how it could help impact their business.

Jennifer Carlson: [00:29:05.11] Yes, and we’re absolutely, we have a combination of documents that will help you roadmap it that we can sit down and help you through and consult you through it. We also have a number of companies that have been there and done that before you, that we can share insights from or make available on a reference basis.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:29:27.94] Awesome. Well, a couple of years ago, you were on the Workology podcast and you mentioned that Apprenti found that 84 percent of their tech apprenticeship applicants came from these untapped talent pools. And we talked a little bit about this, including people with disabilities, veterans, women, and minorities. Has that number changed since 2017? And, and if it has, how so?

Jennifer Carlson: [00:29:50.77] Hard and fast? No, it really hasn’t. I think it’s right there, and interestingly enough, the composition of the applicant pool is also equally reflected within the standard deviation of each population in our placements, and we went to market very actively working with community colleges, community-based organizations that could drive people to us to apply for these roles and fill the funnel from the get-go with, with our, our direct targets. And it has held and we’re both very proud of that. But we also love that all that those groups of people have done is prove the thesis for us that it’s about a willingness to learn. It’s not about your pedigree. It’s competency over pedigree.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:30:51.72] 84 percent from untapped talent pools. You don’t see that in your tech applicant tracking systems and in your ATSs or in your pipelines. Not, not this kind of diversity of candidates. So, this is where I feel like Apprenti really shines. They’re able to bring in different kinds of people from diverse backgrounds and experiences and get them the training they need to be able to support your organization, which is fantastic. I mean, we need more of this.

Jennifer Carlson: [00:31:24.24] I’m going to also point to it’s helping companies see skill sets differently that you don’t get with your traditional resume applicant pool. My favorite example is the Burger King manager, that if they applied for a tech job, you’d scratch your head and go, I don’t understand why you’ve applied for this job. But in reality, if I strip away where they did it or the context of what they did it, this is a person whose skill sets include hiring, supply chain management, consumption and spoilage rates of food, payroll processing, facility management. This person has a lot of skill sets and has had experience in a bunch of areas that companies based on what they do, you know, and Amazon might have a need for somebody who understands those kinds of supply chain logistics in the tech field. Those things make sense if you put them on paper in a, an agnostic fashion and then the company can go, oh, those are great skill sets, love to meet them. But if I had said Burger King manager, the immediate instinct is to go, huh?

Jennifer Carlson: [00:32:36.48] So part of what we’re doing with this process is stripping away those things and showing those skill sets in a way that companies can consume them, and companies are opening up their, their idea on that opening of the aperture to say this makes sense to us. Now we get why we need to look at them differently and why you’ve stripped away some of what we would normally expect to see on a candidate.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:32:59.11] Well, thank you so much, Jennifer, for coming back and enlightening us and talking more and kind of catching up. I am excited that the work that you’re doing and that it is really impacting businesses and, and the individuals, helping give them new skills, new experiences to be able to live their best lives and support themselves and their families. That’s awesome.

Jennifer Carlson: [00:33:22.00] Thanks for the opportunity. We love this. Thank you so much.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:33:24.70] Where can people go to learn more about you and the work that you’re doing at Apprenti?

Jennifer Carlson: [00:33:29.74] ApprentiCareers.org, both as an applicant or as a company looking for information in a way to reach us, ApprentiCareers.org.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:33:39.74] Awesome. We’ll link to Apprenti, also Jennifer on LinkedIn, as well as some of the other different reports and information that we’ve cited throughout this interview. Thank you so much, Jennifer, I really appreciate it.

Jennifer Carlson: [00:33:49.74] Thank you.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:33:51.07] I really appreciate Jennifer’s insights on this special podcast episode. When apprenticeship programs are inclusive of people with disabilities, the value of the on-the-job training model is magnified. That’s because disability is an important dimension of workforce diversity and people with disabilities are an untapped talent pool. Thank you to PIA, who is powering the series on apprenticeships as well as our podcast sponsor, Workology.

Closing: [00:34:19.81] Personal and professional development is essential for successful HR leaders. Join Upskill HR to access live training, community, and over one hundred on-demand courses for the dynamic leader. HR recert credits available. Visit UpskillHR.com for more.

Closing: [00:34:35.08] Thank you for joining the Workology podcast sponsored by ACE the HR Exam, and Upskill HR. This podcast is for the disruptive workplace leader who’s tired of the status quo. This is Jessica Miller-Merrell. Until next time, visit Workology.com to listen to all our previous podcast episodes.