Speaker Profile

Lonnie Emard

Lonnie Emard

Apprenticeship Director
Arkansas Center for Data Sciences (ACDS)

Lonnie Emard worked for 18 years in the Information Technology organization for Amoco and 15 years for BlueCross BlueShield South Carolina Information Systems combining his technical knowledge with a unique set of leadership, organizational design, human capital and business strategy capabilities to become one of the national leaders in the field.

His background and experience, coupled with an ever-growing national skills gap, lead to his founding of a non-profit organization called IT-oLogy, where Lonnie served as President for 8 years. In running this collaborative, Lonnie brought academia, business, economic development, and government partners together to address the skills gap in the Information Technology profession.

As the Chief Growth Officer for BlueCross BlueShield South Carolina, he initiated the apprenticeship program that has delivered over 450 registered apprentices in IT, the largest number of any company in the US.

From 2016-2020, Lonnie spent significant time assisting the US Department of Labor in its expansion of Registered Apprenticeships as a Subject Matter Expert, including assistance to over 10 American Apprenticeship Initiative grantees and the National Governors Association. During nearly 18 months, he worked with the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, stimulating tremendous growth of apprenticeships in non-traditional occupations and working with the state of North Carolina on cyber security apprenticeships for transitioning veterans from FT. Bragg.

Since arriving in Arkansas in 2020, Lonnie is serving 2 roles in Arkansas to help shape the direction of the Office of Skills Development as a single apprenticeship organization in the state and serve as the Director of Apprenticeship for the Arkansas Center for Data Sciences. Since 2020, because of the ACDS team, Arkansas is one of the leading states in the country for the number of IT Registered Apprenticeships and as of December, 2021, ACDS has established over 500 new apprenticeships in IT, engaging 101 different companies across Arkansas.