Smooth Soaring from Air Force Avionics into Kroger’s Commerce

Ohio native Timothy Cowan joined the United States Air Force shortly after high school.  The Air Force leveraged his sharp mind and knack for systems and troubleshooting by training him in avionic maintenance. He was assigned to Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM) and he had the good fortune of his wife accompanying him to Washington state. He ensured planes stayed safe in the air, defending our country for four years.

As his service began to wind down, Timothy reflected on what he loved most about serving in the Air Force—working with technology as part of a team. While he loved these aspects of serving, he and his wife longed for their home in Ohio. He looked for a program that would help him get into tech and hopefully, do it from Ohio.

He found that Apprenti could help him land a tech apprenticeship. He could transition into Apprenti from JBLM because it was based in Washington, better yet, it had spun off into more than a dozen other states including Ohio. Timothy’s Apprenti score, his location, and the timing were perfect for him to move into TLG’s IT Pre-Apprenticeship while transitioning out of the Air Force. He started the Network Development Engineer cohort in Camp Murray, WA in September of 2019. By February, he and his wife were driving back to Ohio and resettling. 

While the pandemic took hold and the country began shutting down, Timothy’s completion of the Network Development Engineer program positioned him to interview with Apprenti in Ohio. He interviewed for a Software Design Engineer apprenticeship with Kroger and by May he started training in coding.   

This August, Timothy started his on-the-job training with Kroger! Now, Timothy is on a team of software engineers using their sharp minds to develop features and optimize Kroger’s mobile shopping tools. As with his time of keeping planes in the sky through avionics, he’s now helping to keep commerce flowing with applications and tools.

Thanks to Apprenti and their Ohio franchise, employers like Kroger have been able to nab talent like Timothy and put them in hard-to-fill software engineering roles.  Timothy’s soldier to software engineer transition took less than a year, despite interruptions and the complications of the global pandemic.