Press Releases Urban Institute Announces $2 Million Grant from to Create Tech Apprenticeships in the Carolinas
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WASHINGTON, DC, December 14, 2022 — Today, the Urban Institute announced a new $2 million grant from, Google’s philanthropy, to launch a project aimed at helping small and medium-sized businesses in North and South Carolina create and grow high-quality tech apprenticeship programs.

Apprenticeships are a workforce strategy that aid employers in addressing their talent needs and assist participants in gaining skills to embark on successful careers through a combination of paid on-the-job training, classroom learning, and mentorship. Over the next three years, Urban Institute apprenticeship experts will work with businesses in North and South Carolina to build, expand, register, and maintain tech apprenticeship programs for nontraditional learners in their communities. Through these programs, the effort aims to equip employers to hire 200 apprentices in upwardly mobile tech careers in the two states.

“Research shows that apprenticeship programs can be an important pathway to well-paying tech careers and an opportunity for apprentices to ‘earn while they learn,’” said Urban Institute President Sarah Rosen Wartell. “Our apprenticeship experts will help launch an effort that attracts and prepares Carolinians for exciting tech careers, with a particular focus on recruiting women and people of color, both of whom have been historically underrepresented in the field.”

“Through this grant, we are proud to build on the existing investments in apprenticeship programs made by the federal government,” said Karan Bhatia, Global Head of Government and Public Affairs at Google. “This funding will help more small and medium-sized businesses create jobs and fill critical roles through registered apprenticeships.”

Co-led by Bhavani Arabandi, a senior research associate, and Zach Boren, a senior policy program manager, the Urban team will help design, register, and implement tech apprenticeship programs in the two states; provide ongoing guidance around program implementation; educate key stakeholders and the general public about these programs; and distribute financial incentives to small and medium-sized businesses to start and expand their own programs.

“Small and medium-sized businesses play an essential role in the economy. However, these employers often face the challenge of scarce human resources, which can keep them from reaching their full potential,” said Arabandi. “Registered apprenticeship programs can help level the playing field for small and medium-sized employers by allowing them to recruit nontraditional learners and local talent for promising careers in the digital economy.”

“This regionally targeted project aims to elevate registered apprenticeship programs as a path to good tech jobs in the Carolinas and will ultimately lay the groundwork for establishing more of these programs nationwide,” said Boren. “Through funding from, Urban will help equip small and medium-sized businesses with ‘grow their own’ workforce strategies that can boost local job markets.”

To learn more about this new projectregister for today’s Urban Institute event, featuring remarks from the US Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and a panel discussion among tech leaders and apprentices who will talk about their experiences. For non-media related inquiries about the project, email [email protected].

About the Urban Institute

The Urban Institute is a nonprofit research organization that provides data and evidence to help advance upward mobility and equity. We are a trusted source for changemakers who seek to strengthen decision making, create inclusive economic growth, and improve the well-being of families and communities. For more than 50 years, Urban has delivered facts that inspire solutions—and this remains our charge today. 

About, Google’s philanthropy, brings the best of Google to help solve some of humanity’s biggest challenges combining funding, product donations and technical expertise to support underserved communities and provide opportunity for everyone. We engage nonprofits, social enterprises and civic entities who make a significant impact on the communities they serve, and whose work has the potential to produce scalable, meaningful change.


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Tags Apprenticeships Employment Job markets and labor force Job training Worker voice, representation, and power Youth development