The Children’s Guild Alliance Apprentices Support Productivity During Pandemic - The Children's Guild

Jacob Luskin—Assistant Director, I.T. Dept

The Children’s Guild Alliance hired two new apprentices to meet increased demand for information technology support during the pandemic. The apprentices are enrolled in TranZed Apprenticeships, a nonprofit registered apprenticeship provider and an affiliate member of The Children’s Guild Alliance. The new apprentices join a department with two active apprentices and four graduates of TranZed Apprenticeships.

“We previously followed a traditional hiring model, but when The Guild launched TranZed Apprenticeships, my interest was piqued to say the least. I had a current employee in mind, that I thought would benefit from the hands-on training of an apprenticeship. That employee’s transformation truly opened my eyes to the potential of apprenticeships,” said Kevin “Chip” Kruba, Director of Information Technology for The Children’s Guild Alliance. “It was a pivotal point in the developmental structure and expansion of our IT department.”

Responding to the pandemic has substantially increased information technology needs at The Children’s Guild Alliance, but Kruba sees no reason to stray from the apprenticeship model. “Apprentices bring a certain tenacity and an invaluable desire to learn and contribute as fast as they can. They have played an integral role in transitioning all of The Guild’s employees to remote work and prepped almost 2,000 Chromebooks for distribution to students,” Kruba said.

Jacob Luskin, Assistant Director of Information Technology at The Children’s Guild Alliance, said, “Taking ownership is a major difference between an apprenticeship versus a traditional job. An apprentice is committed to learning the craft of the job, and the employer has a vested interest in that process.”

Luskin began his career with The Children’s Guild Alliance as an IT apprentice with TranZed Apprenticeships. He said, “After a 14-year career with the military, I had aged out of most entry-level positions but lacked on-the-job experience. Apprenticeship gave me the opportunity to acquire the experience and skillset I needed to make a career transition.”

Luskin quickly moved up the ranks and now supervises new hires. He said, “We almost exclusively hire apprentices at The Guild because it allows us to train them to fill specific needs within our department and grow them through our system.”

“Apprenticeships are fast becoming key in the skills-led recovery planning of many employers across America,” said Paul Champion, President of TranZed Apprenticeships. “The Children’s Guild Alliance joined the apprenticeship revolution early, ensuring it had the right skills, at the right time, in the right roles to successfully navigate through the challenges of the pandemic in 2020 and have a great foundation to build on this success in 2021.”