Catalyte and Retrain America have created a product analyst and designer apprenticeship for Exelon in Baltimore. This new endeavor, and an in-depth look at the evolution of Retrain America, are highlighted in a recent Next City feature story.
Officials at both Retrain America and Exelon say each side gains something — Exelon can address an IT and tech talent gap while the nonprofit gets a “really strong proof point” for scaling up with other employers, [Catalyte Chief Strategy Officer – Partnerships, Eliot] Pearson says.
Jen Peterson-Gutleber, Exelon’s director of information technology, notes that since COVID began, “we are losing more traditional employees than we are gaining, and it really is putting pressure on us to get creative in filling those needs.”
The apprenticeship model helps Exelon to reskill workers from underserved and previously untapped communities while hiring “an entry-level candidate who can grow over time,” she says. After those six months are up, those who become full-time analysts and designers will be earning “family-supporting wages” and have a new career track; Exelon, in turn, will have new programmers on board with a sense of “product ownership” over the tools they’ve built.
If this pilot run works as planned, the Chicago-based energy behemoth hopes to replicate the model in its offices in other cities like Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
Catalyte initially launched Retrain America in the spring of 2020 to connect anyone – regardless of background, education or prior experience – with an opportunity to get retrained for jobs of the future. Through Retrain America, and in conjunction with Baltimore City and Baltimore Corps, we created a Technology and Software Development Fellowship for Baltimore. In 2021, Retrain America became a stand-alone organization.