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Summer Archives

Nicole Arrea

- Accenture North America Future Talent

ArreaFor my summer project, I collaborated with Accenture’s Future Talent team on evaluating the Department of Labor registration for apprenticeship programs and establishing an Apprentice Ambassadors Program with the purpose of creating inclusive ecosystems that propel the growth of professional apprenticeships in the United States. Professional apprenticeship programs play a crucial role in extending employment opportunities to nontraditional candidates in growing industries that are notorious for having high entry barriers. Apprenticeship at Accenture lies at the intersection of the company’s talent strategy and the greater community goals, which allows for long term employment opportunities after completion of the program. Accenture’s program specifically has opened doors to over 1000 apprentices in the following fields: Operations, Interactive, Corporate Functions, S&C – AI, Technology, and Federal Services. The company’s success and impact in this space, however, goes far beyond their internal achievements. Accenture continues to collaborate with other enterprises, community colleges and nonprofit organizations to establish Apprentice Networks that help other companies start their own programs through sharing of best practices and fostering connections with community partners. Currently, they are a sponsor of 6 Apprentice Networks in the following geographies: Chicago, Greater Washington DC, Houston, Minnesota, Philadelphia, and Northern California.


ArreaThe first few weeks of my project were focused on researching the Department of Labor registration guidelines. The DOL registration, however, is not designed for professional roles: 2 out of 3 registered apprentices are in construction and only 0.3% are in technical roles. After countless, fascinating conversations with program intermediaries, legal, government relations and industry partners, we evaluated the different registration options and concluded that, at this time, undergoing registration could limit the growth and impact of the apprenticeship, as the current registration guidelines reduce flexibility for the business and agility to industry changes. Throughout this process, we highlighted five specific concerns that make the registration process challenging for professional programs. These concerns were later presented to the Secretary of Commerce by Accenture’s CEO with the purpose of finding other ways to make apprenticeship conversations in the political sphere inclusive to professional apprenticeships without sacrificing program impact. During my final weeks, I worked with a team to establish an Apprentice Ambassadors program. Through this initiative we hope to give apprentices a voice in the future of the industry by training them in effective communication and giving them a stage to share their thoughts and stories in important internal and external discussions and events.


My work with NA Future Talent opened my eyes to what social impact looks like from a private enterprise perspective. I am now a firm believer that if companies align their business goals with greater community outcomes, we can change the lives of the millions that need it the most.