The following is the text of a news release from the Southeast Maritime and Transportation (SMART) Center:
(VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.) — The SMART Center has released two new videos highlighting the value of registered apprenticeships for good, middle-skill technician careers within the maritime and transportation industry. The two videos are part of the Center's "SMART Choice" video series to increase awareness of career opportunities within the industry.
"Registered apprenticeships are a critical aspect of the maritime and transportation industry, particularly within the shipbuilding and ship repair segment of the industry," says SMART Director and PI Barbara Murray. "Students, veterans, and re-careering workers need to learn the great opportunities available for them to not only get a good job but also get on an academic pathway to earn a college degree."
The first video features Geneva Duffy, a Rigger Apprentice at BAE Systems Ship Repair headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia. After graduating high school Geneva held a variety of low-skills jobs and applied for the registered apprenticeship program after working as a heavy equipment operator. Through the program Geneva earns a full-time salary and benefits while learning a trade from an experience craft supervisor. She also earns academic credentials from BAE academic parter and SMART Center host Tidewater Community College (TCC) while she takes required apprentice-related instruction (ARI) at TCC. Geneva has the opportunity to "stack" the academic credentials (certificates) she will earn at TCC toward an Associates degree, and can go further if she chooses on a four-year college or university track.
The second video features Aaron Post, a sheetmetal supervisor for BAE Systems Ship Repair. Aaron entered the maritime transportation industry after working in other industries and completed the four-year apprenticeship program in 2012. He was immediately promoted to a supervisor position after finishing the program and today is earning a good wage that supports his family. The apprenticeship program also put him on an academic pathway through SMART host partner Tidewater Community College.
A critical component of the SMART Center's work is providing educators, career coaches, faculty, administrators and other "student influencers" with materials to help them make students aware of the career opporutnities in the maritime and transportation industry. To order copies of the "Make the SMART Choice" DVDs for your students as well as career pathway tools please contact Katie Adams at 757-753-5352. The SMART Center will also come to your school or career fair days to make presentations to educators, career coaches, guidance counselors, and students. Please contact Jennifer Black at 757-822-7485 to learn how we can support you.
Click here to see the videos.