The Washington Technology Industry Association is launching a program to train and place 600 technology apprentices into the state’s talent-starved tech companies over the next five years.

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Bolstered by a federal grant, the Washington Technology Industry Association is launching a program to train and place 600 technology apprentices into the state’s talent-starved tech companies over the next five years.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced Wednesday that it would grant $3.5 million to the program. The WTIA has commitments from private companies, including Microsoft and JPMorgan Chase, to fund the rest.

At least half of the apprentices will be women, veterans or underrepresented minorities, groups underrepresented in the tech industry, said WTIA CEO Michael Schutzler.

The program will help recruit and train Washington residents for lucrative jobs in the tech industry.

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“We have one of the worst supply-demand gaps in the country,” Schutzler said. “We create jobs 10 times faster than we produce people qualified for those jobs in the state.”

The WTIA is working with Microsoft, Cisco, Code Fellows and other organizations to train apprentices. It plans to recruit qualified people from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Goodwill, and other sources.

The program officially launches Oct. 1.