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Apprenticeships, Long Common in Blue-Collar Industries, are Coming to White-collar Office Work

Andrew Skelnik grew up in what he calls a “strong blue-collar background” in Chicago. His father was an electrician, his uncle was a carpenter and his first job out of high school was in the mailroom of a printing plant, where he worked his way up to become a pressman. The word “apprenticeship,” to him, meant learning a similar skilled trade: He was waitlisted for two he applied for at local unions earlier in his career.

But after he began studying computer programming while working in a warehouse, Skelnik, 29, was approached by a career adviser at his community college about a different kind of apprenticeship.