St. Louis, MO, September 08, 2023 – Access Point, a celebrated technology apprenticeship initiative supporting high school students from underrepresented communities in launching careers in information technology, proudly hosted its inaugural “Signing Day” event on, Thursday, August 31 in St. Louis, Missouri.
A group of thirty exceptional high school students, part of a larger cohort of nearly 200, formally solidified their apprenticeship commitments facilitated by Access Point. The ceremony was graced by distinguished guests, including generous donors, business leaders, representatives from Missouri’s workforce and education agencies, and national Access Point partners.
The event featured inspiring speeches from Access Point leaders and prominent figures in education, government, and industry. Each student took part in the formal signing of their apprenticeship agreements, marking the commencement of these transformative journeys. Additional agreements were signed to formalize funding relationship, establish Daugherty Business Solutions as the first formal employer partner of Access Point per the Department of Labor, and the acceptance of the Department Labor’s Apprenticeship Standards.
Bill Mitchell, Access Point’s Executive Director, expressed his excitement, stating, “We are thrilled to welcome the newest apprentices into the Access Point family. Our program equips promising students with the skills, knowledge, and practical experience needed for success in the dynamic tech workforce. ‘Signing Day’ symbolizes the start of a collaborative journey where students both learn and contribute to innovative projects within a community dedicated to expanding diversity.”
Ron Daugherty, Founder and President of Daugherty Business Solutions, who funded Access Point’s pilot program in 2020 to address the tech talent gap and promote diversity, praised the students for embarking on their journey. He quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Other influential speakers offering guidance and inspiration included Wade Johnson, Regional Representative-Department of Labor; Greg Laposa, Executive Director, St. Louis Workforce Development; Brian Crouse, Vice President, Missouri Chamber of Commerce; Katie Adams, Chief Delivery Officer, Safal Partners; and Sharonica Hardin-Bartley, PhD, Superintendent, School District of University City. A library of photographs capturing the poignant moments of speakers and students signing their agreements can be viewed and downloaded via the attachment provided.
Access Point Bill Mitchell xxx-xxx-xxxx accesspointprogram.org