CNY’s first software developer apprentice is a woman and she works for the city of Syracuse.
The City of Syracuse, in partnership with the Manufacturers Association of Central New York, announced Central New York’s first Software Development Apprenticeship Program, providing significant upskilling opportunities for the city’s digital workforce. region. The partnership completed the city of Syracuse’s first registered apprenticeship in the software developer trade and the first MACNY-sponsored apprenticeship in the information technology field.
MACNY, as a partner of the New York State Department of Labor, administers registered apprenticeships in Central New York. This allows MACNY to act as a conduit to help small and medium businesses in New York State start registered apprenticeships for trades needed in their businesses. In December 2020, the Syracuse City Council passed an ordinance authorizing the city to enter into an agreement with MACNY to sponsor software development apprenticeships.
“Since the announcement of Syracuse Surge, the City has been working with private sector partners to create a pool of skilled workers in technology occupations to benefit our region, but the city government needs these workers as well,” said Mayor Ben Walsh. “This partnership opens up opportunities to attract new employees to the city government and our region’s growing digital workforce.”
“MACNY is thrilled to partner with the City of Syracuse on our first apprenticeship program in the IT trade. We know this program will open up even more employment opportunities for local residents, while helping the city meet its workforce needs,” said Laury Ferguson, Director of Learning and Development at MACNY workforce.
When city resident Nicole Broadnax was hired in the digital services division, the goal was for the city to put her on a formal learning path to become a software engineer. Now, as CNY’s first software developer apprentice, Nicole will receive a journeyman card similar to how plumbers, electricians and skilled trades receive their credentials upon completion of their apprenticeship.
MACNY President and CEO Randy Wolken said, “Community partnerships like this are key to filling the talent pipeline. We look forward to continuing our work with the City of Syracuse and look forward to being a part of Ms. Broadnax’s growth and success.
Because the apprenticeship is associated with a curriculum approved by the New York State Department of Labor and technical instruction provided by MACNY’s educational partners, Nicole will also be able to earn college credits toward graduation. an associate degree for training courses and work performed.
“What’s exciting is that it gives us a new tool to use when hiring, with the goal of diversifying the talents and skills of our workforce. MACNY as a partner allows us to train and promote from within, or look beyond the traditional degree requirements that we typically have for more modern, technical roles,” said the city’s director of digital services, Kelsey May. we were starting in digital services, I can see government and partners across the region benefiting from apprenticeships for software engineers.”
Nicole, in an interview at MACNY, explained that she hadn’t heard of learning paths when she was a student, except those centered on cosmetology. She noted that programs for technical roles in information technology were not widely known.
Nicole offered advice to other high school students who may not know what their next career step is. “There are so many generational barriers that can get in the way of your success — you may question your knowledge and experience,” Nicole said. “But understand that you’ve worked hard to get here and deserve a seat at the table.”
As a group sponsor for advanced manufacturing trades, MACNY launched the Manufacturer Intermediate Apprenticeship Program (MIAP) in 2016. Initial trades included high-demand fields such as CNC machinist, electronics technician, maintenance mechanic and welder. Since then, MACNY has added over 20 more professions to now include IT. The program was approved last year for this software developer occupation, and the city of Syracuse has hired MACNY to sponsor its first registered apprenticeship program as part of a broader workforce development strategy. focused on attracting and nurturing members of the local community into its talent pool.