BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - IBM launched its apprenticeship program at its Baton Rouge center on Tuesday as the company works to meet its job quote before its June deadline in order to receive funding from the state.
An IBM spokesperson said the technology company hired its first cohort of 50 technology apprentices in Louisiana. The apprentices receive on-the-job training to help them qualify for some of the more than half a million technology jobs across the U.S.
Thirty of the apprentices were hired for the Baton Rouge center and 20 were hired to work at the an application development center in Monroe.
Upon completion of the program, apprentices will earn an industry-recognized credential, and a possible job opportunity at IBM. The company started its first apprenticeship program in Raleigh, North Carolina in 2017.
The program is an example of a company trying to close the job gap in information technology.
The Labor Bureau of Statistics Employment states computer and information technology jobs are projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. These occupations are projected to add about 557,100 new jobs, according to the department.
IT jobs with a focus on cloud computing, big data storage and information security will be in demand.