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Howard Community College Announces Launch of New Help Desk Technician Apprenticeship Program

Companies of all sizes, within virtually all industries, have a need for help desk technicians.

Committed to meeting marketplace demands and developing a sustainable workforce pipeline, Howard Community College (HCC) is introducing a new Help Desk Support Technician apprenticeship program. The program, to be reviewed for approval by the Maryland Department of Labor this spring, delivers a comprehensive academic curriculum, fulfilled through a series of courses taken at HCC. In tandem, students work as entry-level help desk technicians for local companies, progressively gaining new skills and IT certifications over time as they become embedded in their employer’s company and culture.

Local companies looking to recruit candidates to fill help desk technician roles can benefit from partnering with HCC as apprenticeship program employers. HCC is hosting an information session for prospective employers to learn more and get engaged with the college as this new apprenticeship program is created to meet their workforce demands and needs. Interested employers have the option to attend in-person or can participate virtually using Zoom.

Help Desk Support Apprenticeship Program – Employer Information Session

Wednesday, March 9, 2022 from 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.

Maryland Innovation Center, located on Gateway Drive in Columbia

To register, visit

HCC’s apprenticeship programs, and specifically the introduction of the new Help Desk Support Technician apprenticeship opportunity, are garnering support from many area leaders who understand its value and potential impact on the local workforce.

“Howard Community College remains at the cutting edge of creating programs which serve our community and our employers,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “Apprenticeships are a terrific way for students and job seekers to get the skills they need to pursue fulfilling careers, and we’re committed to providing more apprenticeship opportunities for our residents. This program will be a wonderful opportunity for students to gain technical and practical skills in communication, customer service, problem solving, and more. Howard County’s emerging hub of cybersecurity and technology businesses will surely benefit from a new pool of highly-engaged and experienced workers.”

Leonard McClarty, president and chief executive officer of the Howard County Chamber of Commerce, echoes that sentiment.

“Howard Community College has been long recognized as the hub for higher education in our county,” said McClarty. “Their apprenticeship programs are designed to equip students and aspiring professionals with theoretical knowledge and practical, hands-on experience, so they can thrive and grow as successful professionals. We are incredibly excited about the launch of the college’s new Help Desk Support apprenticeship program because it can and will serve as an invaluable resource for so many local businesses, who may be finding it difficult to recruit and retain skilled team members. The skill set this program aims to build is one that is critically needed and valuable, in so many company cultures.”

Research shows that apprentices tend to be incredibly engaged and loyal to the employers who hire and invest in them. In fact, a report from the U.S. Department of Labor confirms that apprentices have a 90% retention rate. Additionally, productivity rates and success planning models are positively impacted by apprenticeship programs, especially in cases where program plans can be tailored to specific employer needs, as is the case for HCC apprenticeship programs.

“HCC builds apprenticeship programs in a way that promises a valuable educational experience for every student, as well as a positive return on investment for every employer we partner with,” said Jeff Richmond, director of apprenticeship and workforce innovation at HCC. “We are able to customize academic topics covered in the classroom, coursework sequencing, and certificate preparation processes to meet the needs of employers. This is key, as it allows us to assure our apprentices are developing new skills in alignment with their workplace roles and responsibilities.”

The Help Desk Support Technician apprenticeship program employers take the lead in identifying qualified candidates for hire, designating mentors, and providing on-the-job training. They compensate their apprentices a progressively increasing rate of pay, while also funding tuition, fees, textbooks, and course supplies. HCC provides academic instruction in compliance with state and federal apprenticeship program regulations, apprentice recruitment assistance, financial assistance program guidance, and administrative support services, including registration of all apprentices with the Maryland State Department of Labor. Employers are also encouraged to pursue incentive programs offered by the State of Maryland, including the Maryland Business Works Program and the Maryland Apprenticeship Tax Credit Program. Both are designed to support expansion of apprenticeship programs as a statewide workforce development strategy. Additionally, HCC recently received grant funding from the Maryland State Department of Labor to offset employer costs associated with acquiring IT certifications.

“Our event on March 9 gives local leaders a great opportunity better understand the many benefits associated with apprenticeships and to gather details on how our new Help Desk Support Technician program might be able to fill important gaps within their companies,” said Richmond. “So many are facing recruitment and retention challenges right now. Apprenticeship programs offer a viable solution.”

To request more information about HCC’s Help Desk Support Technician apprenticeship program, or for answers to specific questions, please send an email to HCC is also in the process of building an apprenticeship program advisory board, and is actively identifying local leaders to take part who may have a vested interest in the growth of apprenticeship opportunities across Howard County. To express interest in serving on the advisory board, please send an email to

Topics: Announcements
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