Education

Federal grant creating apprenticeship program in artificial intelligence at NCSU

Posted February 18, 2020 6:42 p.m. EST

— North Carolina State University will be home to a new apprenticeship program in artificial intelligence as part of a federal push to train more workers in emerging fields.

U.S. Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia announced nearly $100 million in grants would be awarded to 28 public-private partnerships to help fill the more than 6.4 million job openings in the country.

"These grants aim to expand apprenticeships into industries that don’t have large-scale apprenticeship programs, currently industries that are often looking outside the U.S. for skilled workers using the H1B visa program," Scalia said. "Apprenticeships are paid positions that combine on-the-job training and mentorship with classroom instruction and which result in the end in a credential that’s recognized by other employers in the industry."

Scalia said many new fields require very specialized skills, but not necessarily a four-year degree. The one-year apprenticeship programs could help underemployed workers and military veterans gain job skills without taking on major debt.

Even mid-life professionals could get trained for a new career without going into major debt because they would be earning at least part-time pay while they’re doing it, he said.

Private employers would cover the cost of the training.

N.C. State's $6 million grant could help train up to 5,000 workers in the fast-growing field of artificial intelligence. Other programs around the country would create new certifications in fields like cybersecurity, information technology and health care.

The program at N.C. State should be enrolling its first class of students next January.

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