What is TAC?
The Apprenticeship Center (TAC) is an innovative workforce development initiative of The Children’s Campaign. Its goal is to bridge the gap between academic learning and workforce development while providing college students with the opportunity to learn the value and importance of civic engagement.
Ready to Work, Ready to Lead, Ready to Serve™, is the motto of The Apprenticeship Center.
TAC apprentices work side-by-side with seasoned professionals known as “Knowledge Navigators” who assist apprentices in all aspects of their work, service learning and practical experience. The TAC experience provides apprentices with the necessary “leg-up” in order to compete in a global job market. While completing their apprenticeship, students not only gain critical workforce and leadership skills, but also an understanding and awareness of their responsibility to the next generation.
The United States now trails many nations in achievement and attainment in secondary and post-secondary learning. Furthermore, there is increasing evidence of a mismatch between employer needs and the knowledge and skills of the future workforce. Simultaneously, for the last several decades nonprofit organizations have faced growing challenges in nearly all areas of their operations. Increased complexities of their work and service delivery are demanding access to a workforce that can perform “mission-critical” services such as technology/web support and new media outreach, public/media relations, public policy development and research, and finance and accounting services.
Forward-thinking leaders at The Children’s Campaign in both the public and private sectors must embrace business models that leverage the benefits of volunteerism to enhance the job skills of young workers while also giving them a sense of civic pride and responsibility. TAC leverages 75 years of producing talented workers through American apprenticeships to answer the unique workforce needs of the 21st century knowledge economy.
TAC has transformed how The Children’s Campaign and its affiliate, Voices for Florida, support and operate mission-critical “back room” support services. Apprentices play a key role in how the two organizations accomplish their core missions. For over the past nine years, The Children’s Campaign has invested in supporting and expanding TAC and actively works to engage professional experts, volunteers and college students in the apprenticeship program. The results of this investment are growing the next greatest generation rooted in a culture of service, providing the market place with workforce innovation and excellence, and bringing awareness to the importance of civic engagement.
More about Our Motto:
Ready to Work
The apprentices work in one of four functional teams. Apprentices are assigned to these teams based on their desired career path. Although each team operates separately, cross-functional teams are often created to meet the desired outcomes of each project, daily assignments and tasks. This “team” approach to learning allows apprentices to participate in and experience an environment that respects the contribution each student makes. Apprentices learn how to be effective and add value to the mission and vision of an organization.
Each team is led by a Knowledge Navigator, a professional with a history of success and a strong background in their field. Although Knowledge Navigators assign the apprentices their projects, they allow the students to drive the work and gain as much experience possible. Knowledge Navigators are unique to The Apprenticeship Center and give students the opportunity to make lasting connections in their field.
- Administration, Accounting & Human Resources
- Communication & Social Media
- Public Policy & Legislative Interface
- Technology & Web Development
Ready to Lead
The Apprenticeship Center not only creates opportunities for apprentices to gain valuable workforce development skills, but also allows them to flourish as leaders. Each apprentice will gain experience in leading meetings and managing multiple projects so that they graduate with the ability to handle any situation. These opportunities expand the apprentice’s exposure to critical thinking, problem solving, conflict resolutions and teamwork.
Most students begin their apprenticeships as an unpaid Protégé. However, students who demonstrate a superior ability will be given the opportunity to be promoted to a Resident position. Residents are paid at an hourly rate and are responsible for reporting to the Knowledge Navigators and working with them to strategize and implement best practices.
Ready to Serve
During their time at The Apprenticeship Center, students also develop an appreciation for civic engagement and serving the community. Apprentices learn about the importance of public policy and its impact on quality of life and economic opportunities. They also learn fundamental elements of our government and democratic process.
Apprentices often make team decisions to meet outside of TAC to take on activities that benefit local nonprofit organizations within the community.
For example, during the past two summers, The Apprenticeship Center sponsored a water stop for Ride for Hope, a fundraising event that benefits the cancer center at the Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. At the water stop, apprentices passed out Gatorade and snacks while encouraging the riders to push through the final leg of the race. Volunteering at these types of events allows the students to cultivate a positive attitude and heart for service.