Become An Employer Partner to Help Diversify CNY’s Software Workforce

Posted on July 2, 2023

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The Syracuse Surge Coding Apprenticeship is getting ready to host its second cohort in fall 2023, and CenterState CEO is looking for partner employers who are ready to fill and diversify their technology workforce by engaging with people in the community who have untapped potential. One way to find this untapped talent is by becoming an employer partner for the Syracuse Surge Coding Apprenticeship.  

As an employer partner, companies have a unique opportunity to connect directly with the individuals who take part in the apprenticeship program, who benefit from four weeks of paid training before starting as an apprentice for the employer. After they begin work, apprentices continue to build skills and receive support at weekly meet ups with subject matter experts at Le Moyne College. The apprenticeship program provides the professional development, technical support and employment barrier mitigation that an individual needs to succeed in the workplace.

Before taking on an apprentice, employers will have the opportunity to view their portfolios and talk in person at a meet and greet event. CenterState CEO and Le Moyne College conduct a matching program to identify the best fit for both employers and candidates, where each submit a ranking sheet after the meet and greet. While this process helps facilitate a good match, candidates also go through the employers’ hiring procedures.  

Current employer partners include Thales, Terakeet, and Lockheed Martin. Rob Pohl, Lockheed Martin’s Syracuse Site Lead, Spectrum Convergence Engineering said partnering with Syracuse Surge has helped to bring in diverse technical talent that wants to stay in Central New York.  

Surge has provided local candidates from diverse backgrounds who are excited to join our team. Furthermore, the training and mentorship provided by Surge has helped prepare candidates to succeed in their careers. We currently have multiple Surge participants who have become valuable members of our team and are looking forward to bringing in more as Surge kicks off their future cohorts,” Pohl said.  

By participating in this program, employers have direct access to well-trained, diverse talent that can fill open positions. The employers that sign on as partners must fulfil commitments that include: 


  1. Racial Equity and Social Impact: Most of the people who go through the apprenticeship program are women, non-binary people, and/or people of color. Because technology has been a traditionally white, male field, employers need to commit to building a welcoming environment for this diverse talent pool. This means partnering with CenterState CEO’s Racial Equity and Social Impact team for training orhaving an existing and ongoing diversity and inclusion program.  

  1. Hiring: The apprenticeship program is a path to employment. Therefore, employers who participate will be expected to hire apprentices as entry level employees for the duration of the program. At the end of the one-year apprenticeship, the candidate and employer discuss the future: continuing as an employee with the organization or finding a new opportunity. 

  1. Schedule: While initial training takes four weeks, the Syracuse Surge Apprenticeship Program runs for almost 12 months. During this time, apprentices meet weekly to discuss progress and challenges with program instructors. This part of the program supports the individual’s path to long term career success. Employers are asked to accommodate this schedule so apprentices can attend these sessions.  

  1. Salary: It’s essential that the apprentices are paid an industry comparable and living wage while working. Employers will be asked to hire apprentices at a set rate. 


Employer partners for the Syracuse Surge Coding Apprenticeship do not need to be traditional software companies. Any organization with technology needs can benefit from engaging with the apprenticeship program.This is a chance to bring a diversity of thought and talent trained to your needs onto your workforce. If you’re interested in becoming an employer partner, contact Laiza Semidey. 

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