Every year, millions of young people around the world complete an apprenticeship in order to gain the skills they need to get a high-paying job. Yet few Americans have ever heard of a modern apprenticeship. For example, while500,000 young Brits started apprenticeship programs in 2012, only 100,000 Americans did the same. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Tim Scott (R-SC) want to change that. Their new bill, called the LEAP Act, would boost apprenticeships by providing businesses with a $1,000 tax credit for each apprentice they hire ($1,500 for apprentices under the age of 25). introduced the bill.

Apprenticeships offer substantial benefits to both workers and businesses, which is why we have advocated for a large-scale expansion of apprenticeships in the U.S. An apprenticeship is a job in which the worker is paid to learn a set of skills through on-the-job training. Unlike an internship—in which the intern works for little or no money and rarely receives formal training—an apprenticeship follows an earn-while-you-learn model and leads to a nationally recognized credential that recipients can take anywhere in the country.

Microsoft Word - Document2

So why are there relatively few apprenticeships here in the U.S.? We found the biggest challenge to broader adoption of apprenticeships is that businesses are either not aware of them or they have significant misperceptions about them. And, unlike in other countries, businesses that sponsor apprentices in the U.S. receive no federal assistance. To combat that, we recommended investing in a major marketing campaign to better inform businesses about how apprenticeships could help their bottom line and creating a $1,000 federal tax credit to help defray businesses’ costs in offering them- exactly what Booker and Scott would do with their new bill.

Enacting the LEAP Act will create a new incentive for businesses to hire apprentices by helping them offset some of the training costs. Since introducing a similar tax credit in 2007, South Carolina has seen a nearly six-fold increase in the number of employers in the state sponsoring apprenticeships.




By Kevin Clark

Dakar Foundation had the pleasure to meet with Ruben Garcia from CAA Multicultural about partnering on the development of Diversity Digital Media  pipeline from Silicon Beach/Hollywood to high school class rooms in in South Los Angeles County.  The conversation was directed by mutual interest in making an impact on the numbers of qualified candidates  needed to submit for apprenticeship opportunities being developed by content-technology icons in places such as Silicon Beach. Below is an example of CAA recruitment.


Tuesday Feb 10th

Ray Kurtzman Theater, CAA


CAA hosted a energy charged panel of opportunities for African Americans in Hollywood. The event was co-produced by the Multicultural Committee of CAA and the Los Angeles Urban League. The theater and an overflow room of aspiring to seasoned media types were the recipients of testimonials from the panel as well as a spirited question and answer session. The panelist are featured below:


What happens during a Dakar APPrenticeship Partner (DAP) apprenticeship?

The paid apprenticeship lasts 3 months. During the 3 months, you work alongside a DAKAR APP Partners (DAP) on real projects, and are assigned a Mentor who is your primary instructor. You also work on special projects designed to give you additional time and training in the areas you most need.

Each month, you move to another mentor and different team. This rotation enhances the learning process by exposing you to new projects and new people, but also by allowing you to reapply what you’ve learned in a new context.

In the final month, if things have gone well, you are promoted to a full designer or developer at DAP. Or we’ll connect you with other great potential employers.

What’s the relationship between DAP and the apprentices? Are they paid employees?

Apprentices are paid, W2, employees of DAP, The current pay is $/week and includes health insurance and other benefits.

Are there specific time periods apprentices are accepted? When is the application deadline? When does the next class start?

We will take applications continually and accept people on a rolling basis, in short, there are no deadlines and there are not batches of apprentices.

What is the time commitment?

Apprentices work 10-20 hours per week, at a DAP. Part-time apprenticeships are not available. If you will be relocating for your apprenticeship, we can provide non-financial assistance with travel and lodging arrangements. We cwill provide financial relocation assistance once your apprenticeship is completed and you join a DAP Partner as a full employee.

What technologies will the apprentices work with?

Apprentices will learn and work on softwares such as; Ruby on Rails and JavaScript, HTML5, SCSS, git, Unix, and agile software development.

Is this an internship?

No, the goal of a DAP is to learn and get to the level where and apprentice will be promoted to a full DAP employee, Our apprenticeships are not junior roles.

Read more about the differences between Apprenticeship and Internship





The man who helped shape the Dakar Media Academy, (DMA) retired Brigadier Arnold Bray once told me that he was once considered a “throwaway kid”.  A term not all too familiar with children branded that way in the Compton Unified School District (CUSD).   DMA has worked with CUSD over the last 3 years plus in trying to bring sustainable to change through content-technology programs that fit within an experimental academy model for CUSD.


People in Dakar’s sphere of influence  often asked Dakar why are we trying to make a difference in Compton when there are plenty of other school districts and private schools who would love to have a program like DMA.  I shared that story with General Bray when we were working on a social justice media project that is near and dear to both of us, “For Love Of Liberty”.

In our attempt to integrate “FLOL” importance  of selflessness and service to others General Bray has become an inspiration to Dakar to find other who fit inside of the Dakar Venn diagram that we are sharing with potential partners who may link with the notion that no one should be left behind because of their social economic profile.

General Bray has coined a term “eyeconomics” the theory that your statistics and skin color should not predetermine your potential value and worth to others. I believe that Dakar can find other like General Bray who can help dis-spell this theory of inequality and intervene in the lives of young boy and girls at the earliest age in the classrooms of under-served communities such as

Once homeless pregnant teen, is now a Brigadier General and Executive at fortune 100

From runaway high school dropout to star management consultant, Linda Singh learned how to succeed along the way. Read More

Wonder Women In TECH Takes Over The Jordan Air Hangar In Playa Del Ray

By Kevin Clark

March 1-Repost

Attempting to narrow the gender gap in the male-dominated tech industry, the city of Los Angeles is sponsoring a three-day conference in Playa Vista to address issues women face in technical fields.  The Wonder Women Tech event, which starts Friday, will feature more than 50 female leaders from the science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, industries.

The purpose of the conference was to provide support and a space for discussion for women working in an industry that some see as hostile toward women. Over the weekend, coding classes were offered for young people. In a “hackathon,” students and professionals will worked to create websites and mobile applications designed specifically to address needs and concerns of women in tech.

Last year, several high profile tech companies released numbers about their employee demographics, revealing a workforce that is largely white and male.  Female engineers account for 17 percent of Google and LinkedIn employees, 15 percent at Facebookand Yahoo, and 21 percent at Pinterest.

The root of this discrepancy goes back to education. In 2011 about 18 percent of computer science degrees went to women, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.  But reports indicate that about half the women who begin careers in tech end up leaving for jobs in other industries.

In an article in last Sunday’s Los Angeles Times about women leaving the tech space, several women spoke about a hostile male culture, a sense of isolation and lack of a clear career path — a reality corroborated by a 2008 study by the Harvard Business Review.  A 2014 study found that the tech industry remains a rather inhospitable place for women. A global survey of MBA graduates found that 53 percent of female MBA graduates who enter the tech sector leave for another industry.

The same study found that 31 percent of male MBA graduates who enter tech also end up leaving.  Wonder Women Tech was free and was open to the public.  We  wish that there would have been more women and girls of color in attendance over the three day event., maybe next year we can get the word out through our Dakar network.


Welcome to the Dakar Digital Media Academy (DDMA) Call To Action. To facilitate the process of putting DDMA into action, will require layers of executive activity, which means that we will be forming a “Board of Advisors,” as the top layer of the organization, an Executive Committee which will be the “Working Backbone” of the organization and then a number of topic specific committees which will participate in project implementation and finally volunteers.


The Board of Advisors will play a Strategic Leadership role first as giving stature to the project and equally in taking a personal role in the progress of the project.  Specifically, The Board of Advisors will be invited to the two times a year Dinner in Honor of the project that will be held at the Spring and Fall Digital Hollywood events.  While we would hope all our Board members would be present for the two dinner celebrations, schedules always put demands on executives of this level.



All during the year, the Board will be given email reports and updates as to progress and implementation of the project. To that end, Board Members might want to place a member of their staff to join one of our implementation committees.

As the project moves along, we would expect that interesting and high profile Video events will emerge out of the project that Board Members may well want to take part in.  Board members at any time may want to “monitor” Video programs being produced by the project. Video “tutorials” will be a primary tool in the organizational process bringing great transparency to the entire process.




At the end of the day, the role of Board Members should only bring satisfaction and pride to the executives.  The demands will not be time consuming.  The executive committee will keep Board Members apprised of activities and progress and it will be up to each Board Member to offer advice, input from colleagues or other important forms of outreach.


We look forward to hearing your thoughts on Board, Committee and Outreach structure and look forward to you joining us in changing a small piece of the world.

Thanks in advance



Kevin Clark

Dakar Foundation For The Performing Arts