September 1, 2022 -  "When we help students discover their purpose in life and their passion, it's such a win," said Margie Vandeven, Missouri's commissioner of elementary and secondary education, as she addressed the crowd gathered to celebrate 13 students committing to apprenticeships and full-time positions with World Wide Technology (WWT). In a signing ceremony at North Tech High School on August 31, WWT announced they were entering into a registered youth apprenticeship through the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) with both schools, the first high school-level apprenticeship for the $14.5 billion, global technology services provider.

Five students, one 2022 graduate and four current students, from North and South Tech in the Cisco Networking Academy program will begin their journey as configuration technician apprentices this school year. An additional nine 2022 graduates from our information technology programs accepted full-time employment with WWT. 

"This was a perfect fit," said Ann Marr, WWT executive vice president of global human resources. "I'm thrilled to see the level of talent in these students." Helping the next generation of technology talent through community partnerships has been a long-standing commitment for the company and creating a new pipeline for youth brought exciting possibilities. Fortunately, the partnership with North and South Tech is ticking a lot of boxes.

Missouri has been a forerunner in developing youth apprenticeships for the last several years and is nationally recognized for its commitment to developing more opportunities to connect youth to the world of work. "I'm very proud of North and South Tech," said Dr. Oscar Carter, director of skilled technical sciences for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). "They are delivering this education in ways that ensure these kids are successful."

Laura Quitana, vice president and general manager of Cisco Networking Academy, recognizes the value North and South Tech contribute to our regional workforce. "The partnership demonstrates the power of further collaboration between SSD, WWT, and Cisco Networking Academy. This apprenticeship program offers a skills-to-job pathway which gives students from diverse backgrounds the skills, employment opportunities, and career outlook they need to flourish in an increasingly digital economy," she said.


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