Speaker: Earl Kelly, Owner, EK3 Technologies
Tell us about yourself and your company.
Earl Kelly: I'm Earl Kelly Owner and Founder of EK3 Technologies.
Why did you decide to engage in an apprenticeship program?
Earl Kelly: We partnered with ACI and their apprenticeship program because we noticed that candidates that were coming to us off the street did not have a basic set of skills in order to accomplish the positions that we had available. ACI gives us the gives us a path to accept candidates who already have passed certain skill sets, but don't necessarily have experience and were able to give them that experience while building on the skill sets that they learned at ACI.
How has the apprenticeship contributed to your company’s success, productivity, or retention?
Earl Kelly: working with ACI and the apprenticeship program, it's very easy to get the skill set that we need, but more importantly, the current apprentices talk with the current classes and discuss what it's like to work with us, and so we have a backlog if you will of people that want to work with us now because they understand what our culture is and because they want that experience that they have, it has it has helped our productivity and that when we need someone, we can reach out to ACI and there will be someone that is available, we can train that person up and we know the caliber of person that is coming from ACI. Whereas people on the street that you might hire, you don't really have a sense of who they are and what they are until they come to work for you. We still don't have that sense with our apprenticeship program, but it gives us the ability to try out if you will an employee and understand that they're going to have a specific set of skills we have retained, we have retained three of the candidates that we've used for the apprenticeship or internship at ACI and we're very proud of our people who come to our company through that.
How has the apprenticeship supported other company initiatives, i.e. diversity, equity and inclusion or other veteran initiatives?
Earl Kelly: The apprenticeship program has also helped us to support some initiatives that are near and dear to my heart. While I'm not a veteran, I understand the needs of veterans and veterans that are coming out of the service, and I'm happy to report that we hire, except for myself, we hire 100% veterans, and using ACI has helped us to reach those initiatives.
Would you recommend an apprenticeship program through ACI Learning? Please tell us why or why not.
Earl Kelly: I would highly recommend and have highly recommended to other companies who are looking to get quality candidates for basic job level openings to go through ACI. I talk with ACI and see who they have available. Their their staff works diligently to be a liaison between you and the students. The students that I've gotten from ACI in our apprenticeship program have been excellent, And we actually haven't rejected any of them. And when I say rejected, you know when you start with an apprentice, or a new employee, there's a there's a 90 day you know, getting to know you phase. And I can say that we have we've got a probably 60% chance of a employee off the street staying with us through the 90 days, but 100% chance if going with ACI And I think that that says a lot about the quality of people that ACI Send you as well as the caliber of people that they see I sent you.