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Martha Ponge

Director, National Apprenticeships

Martha Ponge

As the Director of National Apprenticeships for NiiCA, Martha leads the Institute’s team supporting programming related to developing the nation’s workforce for strategic industry sectors.  She is responsible for the development and execution of the apprenticeship programs across the US in strategic industry sectors, including supporting NiiCA’s GAINS (Growing Apprenticeships in Nanotechnology and Semiconductors) Program, under a national contract with the US DOL.  A workforce development professional, Martha has more than 25 years of experience supporting individuals of all ages and experience levels as they explore career ladder employment opportunities in high tech, high demand industry sectors.

Prior to joining NiiCA, Martha served as the Director of Apprenticeship for the NYS Manufacturer’s Association (MACNY), a statewide alliance of manufacturing associations supporting manufacturers’ ability to maintain global competitiveness.  While there, she was instrumental in establishing MACNY as the first manufacturing association to act as a group sponsor and intermediary for registered apprenticeships in NYS, missioned to increase the skills of the current and future workforce. Her efforts expanded MIAP to include seven organizations statewide.  Martha acted as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) on behalf of JFF (Jobs for the Future), working with national manufacturing companies to develop 

Registered Apprenticeship programs for both youth and adults, at their facilities; focusing on advancing the use of registered apprenticeship as both a recruitment tool for diversifying the workforce and a retention tool for current employees. While at MACNY, Martha also served as the COO of Partners for Education & Business, their K-12 programming and workforce development affiliate.

Before joining MACNY in 2016, Martha was a dedicated high school Career and Technical Education teacher devoted to preparing students for engineering careers. She also served as an adult training instructor for BOCES and as tenured faculty member at State University of New York Broome County in the Engineering Science Department. A graduate of Clarkson University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Martha also holds a Master’s degree in Vocational and Technical Education.

Martha lends a strong and passionate voice to workforce development by speaking at national workforce events and by advocating for workforce development support at the state and federal levels. 

A longtime resident of Central New York, Martha remains committed to improving the quality of life of all workers by building career pathways that are equitable and accessible for all individuals regardless of  their education or experience.

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