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February 18, 2021



HARTFORD, Conn. ­­— Smoothstack has embarked on a journey with the Connecticut Department of Labor by becoming a Registered Apprenticeship Program. 

Since beginning their work with the state of Connecticut, Smoothstack has successfully hired, trained and deployed seven .NET and MS Dynamics programmers. This team is currently supporting the development of the state’s Comprehensive Child Welfare Information System (CCWIS) by upgrading older in-house applications and standardizing documentation. Upgrading Connecticut’s systems to cutting-edge technology, the team itself is also cutting-edge: it is composed of apprentices.


Smoothstack is disrupting the traditional workforce model by creating an alternative pathway into IT, a field once reserved for candidates completing traditional four-year degrees. The Smoothstack approach starts with identifying employer partners’ needs. Smoothstack then designs front-loaded Related Technical Instruction customized to each partner, simulating the working environment. This prepares apprentices to begin work on day one with a skillset commensurate with more senior peers.


“Skills-based hiring has become a critical practice for businesses confronting the accelerating pace of technological change, where jobseeker skills and occupational competencies (validated through credentials/assessments) are emphasized over traditional degrees. Skills-based hiring strategies expand the talent pool while de-risking the hiring process and result in significant benefits for jobseekers and employers, such as reductions in employee turnover and training time,” said Alex Johnson, President & CEO at Capital Workforce.

Through Smoothstack’s apprenticeship program, employer partners attract and retain top-notch talent from diverse populations. Successful companies recruit not just to fill today’s gaps, but also to build their future bench. Long-term success is dependent on having the right talent to grow an organization, and Smoothstack provides that talent. The result is employees who are skilled and engaged, contributing to the employer partners’ long-term success.

The launch of the Smoothstack IT Apprenticeship in Connecticut coincides with Governor Ned Lamont’s proposed legislation focused on creating an agile, equitable and high-performing workforce in Connecticut as well as the announcement of a $10 million Workforce Development Initiative.


Regarding the team modernizing Connecticut’s systems, John Akkara, CEO of Smoothstack, said, “We are extremely proud to have seven highly effective apprentices supporting the State of Connecticut in the enterprise upgrade project for the Child Welfare Information System. Our work in Connecticut is just beginning. We are excited about our newly minted partnership with the state of Connecticut, specifically, with this administration’s emphasis on merit and skill-based hiring in the IT space.”


We are grateful for the support we are receiving from the Connecticut Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship Training, in making this program a success.

“As skilled employees in many sectors are in high demand, Registered Apprenticeship Programs have grown outside of traditional industries to assist employers recruit, train and retain new employees. Smoothstack focused on cultivating talent by enhancing the skills of employees new to the company utilizing Registered Apprenticeship as a workforce development tool. Smoothstack apprentices will receive a combination of paid on the job training and industry specific classroom instruction for proficient employee career development in their organization,” said Todd G. Berch, State Apprenticeship Director, Office of Apprenticeship Training.

To learn more about how you can get involved, please join us for a special webinar, “Connecticut’s Future Workforce: IT Apprenticeships”

March 10th, 2021, Noon EST:  Register Here


For more information, please contact Smoothstack at or