The Sacramento region continues to be a hot market for talent and workforce development. We are on a growth trajectory locally in terms of population, investment, and opportunities for education and talent, according to the latest report from the Greater Sacramento Economic Council (GSEC). This is an exciting time for us in the region, as these opportunities create tremendous economic impact while driving innovation that’s coming out of local businesses.
However, as we embark on this growth trajectory and think about how we build and expand our workforce, business leaders must also tap into the diversity of this area to drive innovation and build a more inclusive future that benefits everyone. We already have a diverse and highly educated workforce, earning us a ranking of third in the nation for diversity in both tech and STEM, as GSEC notes in its report. We need to do more to tap into this diverse talent pool in creative ways to create opportunities for all — and establish a workforce that is representative of the community in which we live.
Growing and developing programs like Accenture’s Apprenticeship Program can help us achieve this goal. The program has been developed as a learn-and-earn model with benefits that provide a pathway for historically underrepresented communities to digital economy jobs and sustainable careers. At Accenture, we are grateful for each of the apprentices we have worked with over the years, bringing their unique skills and life experiences to what we do. Nearly two-thirds of our apprentices are from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds, and one out of four apprentices are military veterans, spouses or active service members. Their unique thinking, life experiences and contributions to our company have helped us grow and innovate.
Many of our apprentices join Accenture full-time, doing everything from recruiting to building cloud solutions for the world’s largest tech companies. Our apprentices inspire us every day, and we are proud to continue expanding our apprenticeship program in the Sacramento region and beyond. By bringing together local employers, government and skilling partners, we are helping to create a future centered around nurturing, growing and diversifying talent.
I know firsthand how life-changing it is to have these opportunities to grow in a new career. I am a veteran of the U.S. Navy, where I served for seven years. But for an organization that saw the potential in me, my career may have taken a much different path. I applied the skills I learned in the military in my new job as I leveraged the GI Bill to earn my bachelor’s degree. I have been able to use those skills and experiences over my career working in the tech sector before joining Accenture.
Similarly, Martin Arias joined the workforce through the U.S. Navy and became interested in technology through a retail company he was working for. However, because of rising childcare costs, he decided to become a stay-at-home dad after his second child was born and earned a degree in microcomputer applications simultaneously before he landed an Accenture apprenticeship that led to a full-time job. The apprenticeship program offered Martin a way to make a mid-career transition and earn while he learned in a role that valued his military background and saw his potential.
Let’s Take Action Together
We cannot take our promising growth here in the Sacramento region for granted. In this tight labor market that has been dubbed “The Great Resignation,” where workers have more leverage than ever before to pursue new opportunities, apprenticeships can help business leaders identify a new channel of potential employees to fill the talent gap. What our experience has taught us is that diverse talent makes for a thriving, innovative workforce and community.
It makes sense that we need diverse talent to drive success: If businesses do not take into account the diversity of experiences and voices in our culture, we cannot build products and services that are truly inclusive and reflective of the world we live in, and the people they are being built for. A growing number of businesses are recognizing this and building it into how they operate. The Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau, for example, hired its first chief of diversity, equity and inclusion last year to better reflect the diversity of our region in the work the bureau does to promote the hospitality industry.
Workforces need to reflect the vibrant diversity of their communities. In the Sacramento region, we already excel at this. As the region grows, though, we have an opportunity to let our diversity shine even more by creating additional pathways into the workforce for people from diverse, nontraditional backgrounds.
In doing this, we will drive innovation and make an impact like
never before. Let’s work together to redefine the
Workforce of the Future in Sacramento.
Over the past two years, the pace of innovation and change has happened faster than what we’ve seen in human history. Now, businesses are racing toward a future very different from the one they were designed to operate in, as technologies are reshaping human experiences.