Our Mission:

OpenTech LA Regional Apprenticeship Collaborative seeks to revolutionize workforce development through a series of innovations to shape the regional tech industry into an inclusive, dynamic, and responsive ecosystem. Our aim is to connect California companies with a skilled and diverse talent pool, to open opportunities in Technology for women and underrepresented minorities, and to leverage the full potential of public funding programs to maximize returns for all stakeholders.

Our Vision:

A new model of workforce, business, and economic development for California that directly connects US companies to a qualified, skilled, and diverse technology workforce.


  • To develop an efficient and responsive pipeline that provides California businesses with the skilled and trained workforce to sustain their growth and global competitive advantage;
  • To connect underrepresented and disadvantaged youth and priority populations to fast­growing tech careers that will lead to greater economic prosperity.

Current Barriers

  • No access to basic IT training for disadvantaged youth;
  • When available, different public institutions offer training programs with no common curriculum or credentials;
  • When completed, basic IT training is not enough to secure employment;
  • Distance, online, and other private training methods do not provide required competencies to secure employment, or are prohibitively expensive;
  • Middle skills jobs in technology requiring alternative training and certification are not served by traditional training providers;
  • Disadvantaged youth do not have the STEM skills to pursue a Bachelor’s level education in Computer Science or related disciplines;
  • When they do enter a degree program, financial considerations become a barrier to completion, resulting in a high dropout rate;
  • During the program, women often encounter a marked gender bias in the technology industry, resulting in a 47% exit rate for women;
  • When completed, there is a disconnect between postsecondary education and employer needs that creates a skills gap;
  • Employers need a strong, structured pre-­apprenticeship program before they commit to hiring an apprentice and providing the requisite training.

The Solution

  • A series of self­-sustaining social enterprises titled Talent Incubators that serve simultaneously as intermediaries, employers, and training institutions.

Key Innovations

  • Employer projections direct short­term and long­term training programs, directly aligning the workforce needs of US companies with local talent pools;
  • Participants receive wages during the training period, opening tech careers to diverse and disadvantaged populations;
  • Public/private funding streams are combined to maximize impact;
  • Training is conducted on site at fully operational social enterprises offering web development (front/back end), software development, app development, CRM and database design, social media, printing, and 3D printing;
  • Work­based training leads to industry­recognized certificates, credentials, and degrees awarded by educational partners;
  • Workflows are segmented to accommodate a variety of skill levels and interests, including technical skills (programming, CRM, 3D printing) as well as marketing, sales, customer service, training, and outreach;
  • Training programs are flexible, responsive to labor market needs, and lead to apprenticeship, direct placement opportunities with employer partners, or university scholarships with STEMAdvantage;
  • Entrepreneurship component prepares participants to run their own business;
  • Program serves the needs of both corporations and local small businesses.

How Does a Talent Incubator Work?

  • A partner company submits currently open positions as well as projected openings for the next ­1-5 years;
  • The Curriculum Committee of the Joint Apprenticeship Committee (JAC) develops a training program for each position, to include classroom, on­-the-­job, and apprenticeship training;
  • The Development Committee of the JAC prepares an incentives package to include any credits, educational programs, training funds, or other allocations for which the participant or employer might qualify;
  • The training program is certified by educational partners and incorporated into existing workflows at the Talent Incubator;
  • Candidates complete pre­requisites, including short-­term intensive training and/or skills gap remediation programs;
  • Participants enter Talent Incubator, earn-­and-­learn on the job in accordance to the curriculum and pathway approved by the partner company;
  • Instructors from partner educational institutions evaluate progress on site at the social enterprise and validate on­-the-­job learning as an education program;
  • At the completion of the Talent Incubator program, participants receive an industry-­recognized certificate, credential, or degree and are placed into Registered Apprenticeship at partner companies.
  • A new model of workforce, business, and economic development for California that directly connects US companies to a qualified, skilled, and diverse technology workforce.