Neelima Parasker – Woman-Owned Business on Apprenticeship

Neelima Parasker pursued her master’s degree to return to her hometown to manage the family business. However, unforeseen circumstances led her to settle in Overland Park, Kansas. There, she embarked on a successful career in software engineering and computer sciences, a career path that is more common for men, according to the Office of Advocacy’s research. Over 15 years, she made significant strides in corporate America, notably expanding teams from 5 to 200 members worldwide.

Simultaneously, Parasker volunteered in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programs across Kansas and Missouri. Through this involvement, she identified a “prevalent digital divide within numerous communities” and recognized the challenge companies faced in sourcing skilled talent. In addition, she observed the financial strain on companies due to importing talent from abroad, prompting her to ask why businesses overlooked domestic expertise. She encountered local talent that, with proper training and resources, could fill the needs of these companies.

This led to the inception of SnapIT Solutions, a venture aimed at providing IT services, solutions, and talent placements while addressing the underrepresentation of certain populations in the tech sector. Central to SnapIT’s approach is the SnapIT SPRNT® business model, designed to bridge the global shortage of skilled IT professionals via micro-credentials and help them gain industry-recognized certifications. Through this initiative, learners gain practical experience on both internal and external projects, mitigating the risk for companies while improving the skill sets of aspiring professionals.

SnapIT Solutions has garnered numerous accolades, certifications, and media features. Paraskar’s influential role extends beyond her corporate endeavors, as she holds positions on several boards, including the Regents Board of the State of Kansas.

However, amidst the company’s success, Parasker remains attuned to the challenges small businesses face. She expresses concern regarding proposed changes to apprenticeship programs, cautioning against overly broad solutions that may inadvertently harm smaller enterprises. The Office of Advocacy recently published a letter on apprenticeship which addresses those concerns. Drawing from her own experiences and those of her peers, she advocates for subtle adjustments to other programs as well, specifically the 8(a) program of which she was a member. She suggests revisiting tax deductions and implementing gradual transitions for companies exiting certain programs.

Despite these concerns, Parasker remains optimistic about the impact of her model in bringing more talent to the IT industry. Parasker and her team continue to help private industry and federal contractors acquire more IT talent from unexpected places.

Neelima Parasker lives in Overland Park, KS, with her husband of 24 years, Sudheer. She is a regent of the Kansas Board of Regents, co-founder of Lotus TMS, and has been featured in Forbes; INC; INC 5000 Fastest; 2022 and 2023 editions, and Fortune; Entrepreneur; and Oprah magazines.

Darcella Craven currently serves as the Regional Advocate for Region 7 covering Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas. Please feel free to contact and our other regional advocates to share your small business’ regulatory burdens or concerns.

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