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As we kick off week seven of our Trailblazer and Innovator SpotLight series, we highlight one of the country’s premier apprenticeship programs: The Apprentice School located at Newport News Shipbuilding.  The Apprentice School, focusing on “Craftsmanship, Scholarship and Leadership,” trains apprentices in 19 shipbuilding trades and seven optional advanced programs including cost estimation, nuclear test technician, modeling and simulation and dimensional control.

Established in 1919, The Apprentice School is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Council on Occupational Education.  The program includes an on-site school, and currently has a new educational campus under construction with completion scheduled for the last quarter of 2013.  The school offers approximately 800 apprentices a tuition-free opportunity to earn an associate’s degree in business or engineering as they prepare for exciting careers, building and maintaining nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines for the U.S. Navy.  All textbooks are provided and they even offer the opportunity to participate in six Division III collegiate sports, Drum line, Cheer team, Student Government, Jaycees, and two professional societies.  Known as the Apprentice School Builders, the program has won national small college championships in men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, and wrestling. 

Newport News Shipbuilding truly grows their own, as two current vice presidents and approximately 50 percent of the waterfront management team are graduates of The Apprentice School.  They offer apprentices a four or five year apprenticeship with opportunities to succeed in both academics and craft performance.  Apprentices receive on-the-job learning and trade theory instruction during multiple job rotations in various areas throughout the shipyard as they prepare for career advancement opportunities throughout the company of 22,000 employees.

The Apprentice School was recently recognized as a Trailblazer and Innovator Registered Apprenticeship program, one of approximately 70 programs identified throughout the nation as those which embody the 21st Century Vision for Apprenticeship.  Everett H. Jordan Jr., an Apprentice School graduate and Director of Education for the Apprentice School and Training Managers Jim Hughes and Dan Brookman, another Apprentice grad, joined Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and Apprenticeship Administrator John V. Ladd as they presented the program a Certificate of Recognition.

Speaking on the opportunities The Apprentice School offers, Mr. Jordan said the following:

”Having apprentices on record since 1894, the aspect of learning through apprenticeship at Newport News Shipbuilding is ingrained in our company and in our culture. The focus on craftsmanship, scholarship and leadership, offers Apprentice School students an opportunity to learn one of 26 different crafts in a complex manufacturing environment while attaining academic success in rigorous curricula."

For more on The Apprentice School, we encourage you to download and share The Apprentice School Trailblazer and Innovator Fact Sheet.  Also, for more on the Apprenticeship opportunities available at The Apprentice School, please visit: http://www.apprenticeschool.com/index.html

We kick off week six of our Trailblazer and Innovator SpotLight series with a look at the United Services Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP).  USMAP is a formal military training program that provides Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy service members the opportunity to advance their job skills and earn a Registered Apprenticeship Completion Certificate while still on active duty.

The program offers active duty service members the opportunity to complete an apprenticeship in one of 124 apprenticeable occupations.  Currently there are nearly 64,000 active apprentices enrolled.  Service members are able to choose the trade they pursue as long as it relates to their military occupation.  Upon completion of the program, participants receive a nationally recognized Completion Certificate to help attract employers when a service member returns to the civilian workforce.

USMAP was established in 1999 through the consolidation of the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Naval apprenticeship programs.  By 2007, the U.S. Coast Guard was also added, expanding Registered Apprenticeship opportunities to more service members. 

The ability to complete an apprenticeship while still on active-duty is a great opportunity that gives participants a head-start on beginning a civilian career and helps ensure U.S. service members have the skills employers are looking for.  In FY 2011, 5,388 service members completed their apprenticeship requirements and earned a Completion Certificate.

“The partnership that we’ve forged with the DOL clearly demonstrates that our certified Sailors are on-par with their skilled civilian counterparts working in industry,” said Capt. John Newcomer, Center for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD) Commanding Officer. “USMAP is part of CPPD’s voluntary education program, which is a conduit for equipping Sailors with strong analytical skills, the ability to make informed decisions and avenues to pursue their life-long educational and credentialing goals. I strongly encourage all Sailors to take full advantage of these opportunities, including participation in USMAP.  Earning the DOL certificate costs the service member nothing, does not normally require working additional off-duty hours, and benefits the service member as well as the command.”

The United Services Military Apprenticeship Program was recognized as a Trailblazer and Innovator Registered Apprenticeship program during the August 1 “OutEducate OutBuild OutInnovate” National Education and Action Summit at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the signing of the National Apprenticeship Act. 

We encourage you to read the United Services Military Apprenticeship Program Fact Sheet for more information.  Also, for more on the Registered Apprenticeship opportunities available through USMAP, be sure to visit: https://usmap.cnet.navy.mil/usmapss/static/usmap.jsp. 

The St. Louis Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship Program (CJAP) is preparing at-risk youth and other non-traditional populations for careers in Green construction and Weatherization through a pre-apprenticeship program which includes On-The Job experience.  We are highlighting their efforts in Week 8 of our Trailblazer and Innovator SpotLight series. 

The St. Louis Carpenters, collaborating with the St. Louis Habitat for Humanity and other community-based organizations, offers YouthBuild participants, ex-offenders, and others at-risk, training that leads to national certifications to prepare them for Registered Apprenticeship programs that result in careers in the growing green construction sector.  Participants receive training in green building concepts and gain experience in building, renovating, and repairing in housing and commercial construction.

Participants also gain experience and hands-on training in five core areas as laid out by the National Association of Home Builders.  Students who complete the program are able to continue their training and the opportunity to obtain national certifications in the Home Builders Institute’s Pre-Apprenticeship Certification Program (HBI-PACT), EPA-RRP (Renovation, Repair and Paint), and Mold and Asbestos awareness.  

The St. Louis CJAP Green Construction Corps program was one of 71 programs recognized as a Trailblazer and Innovator Registered Apprenticeship program during the U.S. Department of Labor’s August 1 National Education and Action Summit in Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the signing of the National Apprenticeship Act.

Dr. John Gaal, St. Louis Carpenter District Council's (CDC) Director of Training & Workforce Development; Bruce Bird, Coordinator, Southeast Missouri (SEMO) Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship Training; and Larry Rebman, Director, Missouri Dept. of Labor and Industrial Relations all joined Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and Administrator of Apprenticeship John Ladd during the Trailblazer and Innovator ceremony.  During the ceremony, Secretary Solis presented these representatives with a Certificate of Recognition as a Trailblazer and Innovator program for the Green Construction Corps’ embodiment of the 21st Century Registered Apprenticeship vision.

Dr, Gaal had this to say about the program:

“Our Green Construction Corps preparatory program is giving at-risk individuals opportunities they otherwise wouldn’t have access to.  Entering a Registered Apprenticeship program offers people within targeted (often underserved) groups the chance for a life-long career at good pay.  This pre-apprenticeship opportunity prepares them to succeed, teaching the value of hard work while they learn the skills needed for success."

For more on the program, we encourage you to download the St. Louis Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship Program Fact Sheet.  We also recommend you visit http://www.carpdc.org/ to learn more about Registered Apprenticeship opportunities.

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