FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Two months into her apprenticeship with Bitwise Industries, Emelia Guaderrama already has her sights set on continuing her career with the company.
Guadarrama says, "I was doing this just to kind of dip my toes in coding, learn how to make a website and just to see if I would like it. I fell in love with it."
The Fresno native says prior to Bitwise launching in Fresno, entering the tech industry didn't seem like a possibility.
"Having that in our Community and Fresno. Not only that, but them wanting to bring in the community and be like, 'You belong here. We will help you.' You feel like you belong in this industry," Guaderrama said.
The now nationally registered apprenticeship program boasts opportunities to work on real projects under the supervision of seasoned tech leads while getting paid.
Most importantly, it brings a sense of community to those looking to get into the field. It's something she was able to discuss while in Washington DC as they made it official.
Emilia says, "There are so many people out there who are just ready and willing to help you. It's wonderful. I love it, it's such a fostering environment."
In 2021, the US Department of Labor passed $3.5 billion in funding for apprenticeship programs across the country.
Chief Workforce Officer Michelle Skoor says, "It's just really incredible to have this moment for Bitwise. To see the apprenticeships recognized and really be able for us to access the funding that's now available because of this nationally registered apprenticeship."
Skoor says the plan is to make this opportunity available in all of the communities Bitwise serves, including Fresno, Merced, Bakersfield, Oakland and most recently Toledo.
"We have 100% placement of the apprentices that have gone through our program. We have trained, through our pre-apprentice and apprentice pipeline, 8,000 individuals in the cities where Bitwise serves," Skoor added.