The new era of 'professional apprenticeships' for Finance and Accounting
On February 23, 2023 I had the privilege of testifying before the Maryland Senate Finance Committee in support of SB 413 Apprenticeship 2030 Commission in accordance with the Maryland Blueprint for Education enacted in 2021. That blueprint outlines bold goals for Maryland's future workforce relying heavily on Registered Apprenticeships among other things.
Here is my testimony:
Good afternoon Madam Chair and Madam Vice Chair and Committee members.
I am Tom Hood, a Maryland-licensed CPA, a Chartered Global Management Accountant and a resident of Baltimore City, Maryland. I am here today representing the AICPA & CIMA, the largest association of certified accounting and finance professionals in the world.
I am also the former CEO of the Maryland Association of CPAs (MACPA) and have presented before this body numerous times in the past 26 years.
I am here to testify in support of SB 413: The Maryland Apprenticeship Commission, which would establish a Commission to oversee the implementation of apprenticeships in Maryland’s Blueprint for Education passed into law in 2021.
We support this bill because of the role Professional Apprenticeships can play in helping with the severe shortage of accounting and finance professionals in Maryland and the US as outlined in my written testimony submitted to the Committee. This testimony, titled, ‘The case for accounting and finance as a ‘high-demand occupation’ highlights the shortage of talent in both CPA firms and corporations.
We, the AICPA & CIMA, have registered the first Apprenticeship for Finance and Accounting in the US with the US DOL and the State of Maryland. At National Apprenticeship Week in Chicago this past November, FLOTUS Dr. Jill Biden and US DOL Secretary Marty Walsh recognized our Registered Apprenticeship for Finance Business Partner as one of three innovative apprenticeship programs for the year! Our program along with two others in Cyber-security and AON’s insurance apprenticeships ushered in this new ‘era’ of Professional Apprenticeships in addition to the tried and true application by the trades.
With this ‘earn while you learn’ apprentice program we can increase diversity in our profession and offer many a ‘passport out of poverty’ and into good paying jobs in accounting and finance.
In addition, I want to add my thanks and appreciation to the Bill’s sponsor, Senator Jim Rosapepe and the Maryland Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeships, and the MACPA who have been working with us to bring this exciting program to Maryland.
I urge you to give SB 413 a favorable report.
More information on our Registered Apprenticeship for Finance Business Partner:
- AICPA & US DOL announce Registered Apprenticeship for Finance & Accounting
- MACPA - AICPA lands $120,000 business partner grant for Maryland apprentices
- CFO Brew - The Future of Finance is More Diverse
- Fortune Magazine - HP, Aon, and Liberty Bank are piloting a new apprenticeship program to help fill the finance talent pipeline