The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has received a grant of nearly $120,000 from the Maryland Department of Labor to expand its Registered Apprenticeship for Finance Business Partners in the state.

The funds from the grant will cover instruction-related costs for a minimum of 25 new apprentices.

Through the state’s Apprenticeship and Training Program, more than 12,000 apprentices are registered to be trained in new job skills with 3,879 employers across the state.

“Since day one, Gov. (Larry) Hogan has been focused on utilizing common-sense solutions to grow and expand economic opportunities for all Marylanders,” said Maryland DOL Secretary Tiffany Robinson, pictured at right. “His steadfast support for Registered Apprenticeship has allowed Maryland Labor to not only grow the number of apprentices in our state to an historic level, but also to grow and diversify the industries and occupations that are served by our successful apprenticeship system. Our partnership with the AICPA is a continued step in the right direction.”

The apprenticeship program creates a new path for those looking to pursue accounting and finance careers, while providing employers with a program to help develop, retain, and diversify talent. The apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job training, mentorship at the employer’s site and potential financial incentives to ease employer costs. The AICPA provides online, structured learning for registered apprentices through the CGMA Finance Leadership Program.

“The battle for talent is increasing, making the need for more skilled accounting and finance talent even more pressing,” said Tom Hood, CPA, CGMA, CITP, executive vice president of business engagement and growth at the AICPA, pictured at right. “Our apprenticeship combines a world class learning program with mentorship and on-the-job training, which helps employers recruit and grow their own, providing the kind of workplace the 21st century workforce expects – diverse, inclusive, collaborative, and innovative.”

The AICPA’s apprenticeship program, registered in Maryland, is competency-based and flexible, available to new hires and incumbent employees as well as those with four-year degrees and those working on earning their two-year degree. It is the first of its type in the nation for accounting and finance.

“Apprenticeships offer an opportunity to ‘earn while you learn,’ meaning that employees study the CGMA Finance Leadership Program and receive on-the-job training while also earning a living,” said Joanne Fiore, vice president, Pipeline and Apprenticeships, CGMA Americas at the AICPA Association. “And apprenticeships help build a more inclusive accounting and finance team by widening the aperture of candidates to consider. Not every candidate has to have all the skills, experience and education up front, because the apprenticeship provides the opportunity to gain them.”

Maryland is the first state in which the AICPA has registered its apprenticeship. The AICPA has partnered with the Maryland Association of CPAs to raise awareness of and grow the apprenticeship in the state.

“This apprenticeship is an exciting partnership with the AICPA and the state of Maryland to support more Marylanders, both those seeking to enter the accounting and finance profession and those businesses in need of more talent in this critical area,” said MACPA CEO Rebekah Brown.

The AICPA is also a member of the Greater Washington Apprenticeship Network, a resource for employers seeking to implement apprenticeships.

The first round of apprentices is expected to be registered in the fall. For more information about the apprenticeship program, visit the AICPA’s Finance Business Partner apprenticeship or email ApprenticesUS@aicpa-cima.com.

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