Santa Cruz Tech Beat


Cabrillo College Awarded Silicon Valley High Tech Apprenticeship Initiative Grant and Launches First Apprenticeship with Cloud Brigade


November 14, 2017 — Aptos, CA

$552,737 Sub Grant from West Valley-Mission Community College and U.S. Dept. of Labor Designed to Train Future High-Tech Workforce of Silicon Valley

Cabrillo College today announced that it has launched its first of three apprenticeships with Cloud Brigade, a consulting and managed service company based in Santa Cruz, as part of a $552,737 sub grant awarded to Cabrillo College by the West Valley-Mission Community College District from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to develop the Silicon Valley High Tech Apprenticeship Initiative (SVHTAI).

The purpose of the grant is to train Cabrillo students to become high technology apprentices for employment in the region. The model uses existing Cabrillo courses as the pre-apprenticeship program and the project aims to increase the enrollment of minority students (women, African American, Latinx, and Veterans) and place those students into apprenticeships after they complete the Cabrillo coursework.

This first apprenticeship launched with Cloud Brigade will be an IT Apprenticeship (Linux Support Specialist) that has been registered and approved by the DOL. This apprenticeship is a Help Desk/IT Support position that is an extended training program that gives students practical work experience once they have completed required coursework (four courses) in Cabrillo’s Computer and Information Systems (CIS) program.

“This apprenticeship is an extended boot camp of sorts, that bridges the gap between where college classes leave off and where job requirements start,” said Chris Miller, President of Cloud Brigade. “It’s both a comprehensive training program for the apprentice and a working agreement with the employer.”

Each apprenticeship is 2,000 hours, and as part of the grant project, two more one-year apprenticeships will be developed. These future apprenticeships to be approved within the next two years are in the areas of Dev-Ops/Applications Support and Cloud Engineer.

According to Gerlinde Brady, Cabrillo College Dean of Career and Technical Education (CTE), Cabrillo CIS students would complete four core courses, and then would work with Cabrillo’s Student Employment Office to create and revise their resumes. Then they’d conduct interviews at Cabrillo and would become eligible for a pool of apprentice candidates, who would apply to Cloud Brigade and other companies that partner with Cabrillo in future years.

“The benefit for the student is that they get practical, on-the-job experience that leads them to a rewarding career, and the benefit for the employer is that they get quality talent in an area that is traditionally difficult for direct hires, and because the employer has made an investment in them, they stick around longer” said Brady.

Cloud Brigade will host an Apprenticeship Summit in celebration of National Apprenticeship Week, November 13-17. For information, please see their blog post at For additional information about Cabrillo’s Apprenticeship Program, please visit

About Cabrillo College
Cabrillo College is a leading California community college serving Santa Cruz County with locations in Aptos and Watsonville. It is ranked #1 in transfers to UC Santa Cruz. Founded in 1959, the college offers over 100 academic and career technical education programs that serve multiple educational goals such as A.A. and A.S. degrees, certificates of achievement, skills certificates, transfer to 4-year institutions or for lifelong learning and personal enrichment. Cabrillo College is a dynamic, diverse and responsive educational community that is dedicated to helping all students achieve their academic, career, and personal development goals.

About Cloud Brigade
Cloud Brigade is a Managed Services Provider located in Santa Cruz since 2008, with an established reputation as a resource to resolve complex technical problems. Employees work heavily with Linux and Open Source software, Public cloud providers, and leading edge technology solutions. Cloud Brigade is a thought leader in the quest to bridge the skills gap which exists between college curriculum and job requirements.


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