Pictured: Ruan CEO Ben McLean and Governor Kim Reynolds with Diego Garcia-Orellana (left) and Louis Moreno (right)
Today, Governor Kim Reynolds and Ruan presented two former Des Moines’ Central Campus students, Louis Moreno and Diego Garcia-Orellana, with certification of completion of the Ruan IT Apprenticeship Program. Iowa received a $1.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor in October 2016 to grow Registered Apprenticeship Programs. Des Moines was the first Iowa school district to launch Registered Apprenticeships in high school, and Ruan the first business to offer positions in information technology.
The Registered Apprenticeship Program allows workers to receive on-the-job training in high-skill, high-paying jobs while earning a paycheck. Selected Ruan IT apprentices gain valuable work experience, earn income, and continue their post-high school education. To receive certification from Ruan, students must complete 2,000 work hours, generally over the course of 24 to 36 months, and demonstrate the required competencies. The two apprentices who received certification today spent their time working at the Ruan IT service desk and launching an advanced, cutting- edge mobile technology initiative for professional drivers across the country.
This apprenticeship supports Governor Reynolds’ Future Ready Iowa goal of 70 percent of Iowa’s workforce having education or training beyond high school by 2025. Future Ready Iowa includes a $13 million per year Last Dollar Scholarship Program to help cover tuition for postsecondary credentials up to two-year degrees in high-demand fields, such as IT. It also includes a $1 million a year fund to help smaller apprenticeship programs get started.
“Education or training beyond high school is the new minimum in a dynamic, digital economy, so it’s critical to expand Registered Apprenticeships and other pathways to great careers,” said Governor Reynolds. “I applaud Ruan and Central Campus for this extraordinary public-private partnership. I’m excited that 10 more school districts are now offering Registered Apprenticeships, providing even more students with a path to success.”
Technology is a key differentiator for Ruan. Boasting 6,000 team members and more than 300 operations across the country, the company has a growing list of technology initiatives, including new mobile technology, robotics process automation, sensor technology, wearables, and more. Most of Ruan’s 4,000 trucks are equipped with collision mitigation, roll stability, lane departure, speed limit alerts, and more. This technology ensures all drivers on the road are safe - but also requires a large support team to keep the technology running properly.
“When Ruan learned of the possibility to begin an IT apprentice program, we saw a great opportunity both for the students and for Ruan. The Registered Apprenticeship Program allowed us to train and give real-world experience to high school students while also meeting our growing need for talent in our IT department. We recently launched a new mobile technology platform, and we could not have done it without the help of our apprentices. Their fresh approach to this initiative and their assistance with the everyday operations of our service desk have been invaluable,” said Ruan CEO Ben McLean.
Moreno and Garcia-Orellana graduated from Lincoln High School in spring of 2018. Moreno is currently transitioning into a part-time college internship role with Ruan and is attending Drake University full time, where he intends to complete his law degree. Garcia-Orellana was recently selected to join Ruan’s IT team full-time as a mobile technology analyst and will be starting classes at Des Moines Area Community College in the fall. Ruan currently employs four additional apprentices in its IT department, all of whom will receive certification in the coming months.