Success Stories

How Inclusive Apprenticeships Advanced the Careers of People with Disabilities

We interviewed apprentices, including those with disabilities, to get their perspectives on how participating in an inclusive apprenticeship program helped them launch their careers in high-growth, high-demand industries.

The apprentices who shared their stories not only discuss how participating in an inclusive program helped them feel supported, they offer advice to employers on how to create more inclusive workplaces.

Featured Apprentice: Kristin Strand Associate Consultant, Barr Advisory

Kristin Strand, a military veteran, was a math teacher for six years before she decided to pursue a career in IT. Instead of returning to college to obtain a degree in a new field, she enrolled in the Apprenti Tech Apprenticeship program. Post training, she now serves as a cybersecurity consultant at Barr Advisory, a firm specializing in cloud based cybersecurity and compliance.

Listen to Kristin Strand's Podcast

Featured Apprentice Tony Granillow: Solutions Architect, Amazon Web Services

Tony Granillo, who identifies as a person with a disability, served in the Army for 14 years until he suffered multiple traumatic brain injuries. Tony applied to and was accepted into the Apprenti program to prepare for his dream job in the tech sector. Apprenti is a non-profit that helps place people from underrepresented groups, including people with disabilities, into technology apprenticeships. Through the program, Tony secured an apprenticeship with Amazon Web Services (AWS). Within a year of starting on-the-job training, Tony completed the apprenticeship and was offered a full-time position as a Solutions Architect at AWS. In this role he supports customer engagement, helping customers understand how to navigate “the cloud” and achieve their objectives. He credits Apprenti for finding him an amazing job opportunity and giving him the tools he needed to achieve success.

Find out more about Tony’s apprenticeship journey

Tony’s Advice to Employers

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Be open-minded when hiring apprentices and employees. Veterans can really add value to an organization; they are team players, they are loyal, they have good work habits, and they are creative problem solvers. Plus, hiring Veterans has the added benefit of helping employers create a more diverse workplace.

Featured Apprentice Bobby Moran: Systems Engineer, E.W. Scripps

Bobby Moran, who identifies as a person with bipolar disorder, has always wanted to run his own media production company, but he didn’t always have the experience he needed to make his goal a reality— until he found Apprenti. Apprenti helped place Bobby in an apprenticeship at E.W. Scripps Company, one of the nation’s largest local TV broadcasters. Bobby excelled at Scripps and was later hired to be a full-time employee where he is responsible for managing 47 local media delivery applications, the quality assurance team that tests these applications, and local site directors. Bobby credits Apprenti for taking him from a place where he felt like he didn’t have many career options to a place where he feels like he is now thriving. He has learned the fundamentals to have a successful career. And, he is now on track to achieve his goal of owning a successful media production company.

Find out more about Bobby’s apprenticeship journey

Bobby’s Advice to Employers

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My advice would be to be patient with potential apprentices and employees who are neurologically diverse. While sometimes their energy may seem reserved or they may be introverted, most of them have an incredible story and are just looking for the right place to share their many talents.

Podcast Interviews

Apprenticeship for All Podcast: Chad Chaffee

When Chad Chaffee joined Apprenti, he hid his ADHD. After just a short time, Chad noticed their immediate display of acceptance and the inclusive culture Apprenti had created. The team was welcoming and supportive of people with disabilities like Chad. They were committed to helping all their apprentices succeed. Chad described Apprenti’s approach as incredibly supportive: they want you to succeed, and they want you to succeed in whatever position you’re in right now, whatever background you’re coming from.

Listen to Chad’s full interview

Apprenticeship for All Podcast: Earl Dube

Earl Dube, a graduate of the Bridge to Opportunity IT program who identifies as neurodivergent, shares his journey into an IT career through apprenticeship. He provides advice to other job candidates with disabilities, as well as to employers of neurodiverse apprentices about how they can create inclusive workplaces to broaden their access to a large talent pool of tech professionals.

Listen to Earls’s full interview