ACC awarded $250,000 to build apprenticeships in high-demand programs

ACC partners with more than a half-dozen employers to expand IT, healthcare & manufacturing tracks

The Austin Community College District (ACC) will expand apprenticeship and other earn-and-learn positions for students through a $250,000 grant awarded by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPMorgan Chase).   

“It’s exciting to witness Austin’s amazing economic transformation, and JPMorgan Chase is making this investment so more of the region’s residents share in the opportunity and the prosperity of growth,” says Carolyn Watson, JPMorgan Chase vice president of corporate responsibility. “We are proud to partner with ACC in this important and life-changing work.” 

The grant will support ACC’s Career ACCelerator Program, which offers a self-paced training schedule that allows students to be job-ready in as little as one year. Students receive financial assistance, paid internships, and an opportunity to earn a certificate that counts toward a college degree. 

“This grant will make a difference in the lives of hundreds of students. One of the biggest hurdles in college today is affordability. Every dollar we can pay forward is a sign of encouragement, but we have to start thinking in new ways about how we can support students on their academic journey,” says Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC president and CEO. “Internships and apprenticeships are key. Students gain incredible real-world experience — earning while they learn. Collaborations like this are what make it possible.” 

“Thanks goes to JPMorgan Chase for helping to meet our critical need to expand apprenticeships, paid internships, and other earn-and-learn positions for students,” says Steve Adler, Mayor of Austin. “This will help us meet our 2021 goal of having moved 10,000 low-income Central Texans out of poverty through education and training.  Our community has a huge opportunity with the 60,000 jobs to be created here that require more than a high school diploma and less than a bachelor’s degree. Collaborative efforts like this help build economic opportunity and equity, and I am grateful to everyone working to keep Austin at the forefront of innovation in workforce development.”

With the support of JPMorgan Chase, ACC will expand the Career ACCelerator Program to include IT, healthcare, and manufacturing tracks. The program also will add apprenticeship opportunities. Current employer partners include: Honda, Toyota, Samsung Semiconductor, City of Austin; Baylor, Scott & White, the Austin Regional Manufacturers Association (ARMA), and Ascension Seton.  

“An industry-recognized apprenticeship program provides an additional pathway for students to learn skills at ACC to earn a higher wage and advance in their careers while continuing to earn money. Companies can cultivate and retain our talent,” says Drew Scheberle, the Austin Chamber of Commerce SVP for Talent. “Collaboration is critical."

In 2017, ACC and the Austin Chamber joined an effort led by Workforce Solutions Capital Area (WFS) to develop the Austin Metro Area Master Community Workforce Plan (Master Plan).

"A core strategy of the Master Plan is to work with local employers to assist in the upskilling of their current workforce," says Tamara Atkinson, WFS CEO. “In addition to supporting the Career ACCelerator as a key program helping the community meet the goals of the Master Plan, WFS is excited to also partner with ACC to advance earn-and-learn opportunities with employers in the form of apprenticeships, internships, and incumbent worker training."  

The two-year grant will be implemented beginning this fall.

For more information about ACC’s Career ACCelerator Program, visit