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Strengthening Small and Medium Business through Tech Apprenticeships

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) play an essential role in the economy and innovation but often face scarce human resources that can keep them from reaching their potential. Registered apprenticeships can help level the playing field for SMBs by enabling them to recruit local talent for promising careers in the digital economy.

Join the Urban Institute as we explore the role of tech apprenticeships as a talent development strategy for SMBs to thrive in a rapidly evolving industry and the importance of recruiting diverse tech talent. This hybrid event will include remarks from the US Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and a lively panel discussion among tech leaders and their apprentices.


Welcome Remarks: 

  • Kimberlyn Leary, Senior Vice President, Urban Institute
  • Martin J. Walsh, Secretary, Department of Labor
  • Karan Bhatia, Global Head of Government Affairs & Public Policy, Google
  • Zach Boren, Senior Policy Program Manager, Urban Institute


Panel Discussion: 

  • Tal Frankfurt, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Cloud for Good
  • Courtney Jackson, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Paragon Cyber Solutions
  • Odette Nemes, Head of Growth, Onramp
  • Jomarie Polanco,  Software Engineer II, Twitch, Former Apprentice
  • Winellia Rivera, Information Security Specialist Apprentice, Paragon Cyber Solutions
  • Bhavani Arabandi, Senior Research Associate, Urban Institute (moderator


Closing Remarks

  • Zoë Baird, Senior Counselor to the Secretary for Technology and Economic Growth, Department of Commerce


This event is available for in-person or virtual participation. Please be sure to register correctly. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination, including one booster shot, is required to attend this event in-person. Please be prepared to show proof of your vaccinations upon arrival. In-person check-in will begin at 2:30 p.m. and a reception will follow the event. 

We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals to engage fully. Please email [email protected] if you require any accommodations or have any questions about this event.

Support for this event is provided by For more on Urban’s funding policies, go to

Date & Time Wednesday, December 14, 2022
Urban Institute 500 L'Enfant Plaza SW
Washington , DC , 20024-2131
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Related materials

Urban Institute Speakers
  • Principal Research Associate
  • Senior Policy Program Manager
  • Executive Vice President
  • Vice President and Global Head of Government Affairs and Public Policy, Google