By Amelia Favela
OpenTech L.A. Regional Apprenticeship Collaborative Program (OpenTech L.A.) is a soon-to-be training system that will provide underrepresented populations with career opportunities in fields related to Information Technology and Biotechnology. Its aim is to connect diverse people, who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity, with tech companies throughout California.
The program will revolutionize tech industry workforce development by implementing a system that tailors to the specific needs of each partnered tech company. Trainees will be connected directly with companies through an apprenticeship to learn the skill set that is required by the matched company, ultimately shaping each individual into the perfect candidate for the company placed.
Spearheading the OpenTech L.A. operation is Managed Career Solutions (MCS), which was recently awarded with a $2.9 million grant over a five-year period as part of the U.S. Department of Labor’s American Apprenticeship Grant Initiative. The initiative, which is awarding $175 million to selective programs that induce innovative career paths, has chosen MCS as one of only two grantees in Los Angeles.
“We are honored by this recognition of our efforts and are excited to continue our work developing non-traditional apprenticeships,” said Dr. Philip Starr, MCS Executive Director. “We look forward to continue working alongside partners, employers and other grantees to develop a national framework that will bring meaningful jobs and prosperity to our communities.”
Partners of MCS that have united to make OpenTech L.A. come to life are the LA County Workforce Investment Board, the City of LA Economic and Workforce Development Department, and LA Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development. The partnership that OpenTech L.A. is founded on is held together by the unified mission to create tech-related career paths for populations that have limited access to the fast-growing industry.
“Our purpose is to open doors for underrepresented groups such as women, veterans, at-risk youth, low-income individuals, and all minorities,” said MCS Project Manager Alexis Altounian. “Our key service is job development through an arrangement of accelerated training, certification prep and examinations, job search and placement. We customize each program according to the specific needs of every individual and affiliated company.”
One of the unique aspects to the OpenTech L.A. program is its Talent Incubator. This feature offers hands-on experience through a network of enterprises that will combine education with a paycheck. The Talent Incubator will benefit more than 1,000 job seekers along with 300 apprentices who complete the program.
Notable organizations, companies, and campuses who are excited to participate in OpenTech L.A.’s collaborative program include STEM Advantage, IS Association and YWCA-GLA, AltaMed, DIRECTV, Rx Research Services, East Los Angeles College, Los Angeles Trade Tech College, and California State University of Los Angeles.
If qualified, individuals will be able to utilize all of the inclusive program’s services free of charge. OpenTech L.A. encourages anyone who is eager to start a career path in technology to apply.
To participate in OpenTech LA’s program, please contact Joan Samuels, Director Corporate Business Development. firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also learn more about OpenTech L.A. at www.mcscalifornia.com.