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'SMART Choice' highlights value of registered apprenticeships

May 6, 2014 10:08 AM

A new video features a superintendent trainee at BAE Systems on track to be a corporate leader

Courtesy SMART

The following is the text of a news release from the Southeast Maritime and Transportation (SMART) Center:

(NORFOLK, Va.) — The SMART Center has released its most recent video in its "Make the SMART Choice" series. The series is designed to increase awareness of careers in the maritime and transportation industry across the U.S. The most recent installment features Sarah Canclini, a superintendent trainee at BAE Systems in Norfolk, Va.

As a result of her participation in BAE's registered apprenticeship program, Sarah earned a full-time salary, benefits, and an AAS in maritime technologies from Tidewater Community College and is on track to become a corporate leader. Sarah was recognized by the U.S. Department of Transportation on the federal agency's "Women in Transportation History Timeline" for earning the first AAS in maritime technologies from TCC.

Recoginizing the value of the registered apprenticeship career pathway to educators, students, and employers across the U.S., just last month the U.S. Department of Education, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor, launched the Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium,a new effort that will allow graduates of registered apprenticeship programs to turn their years of rigorous on-the-job and classroom training into college credits toward an associate or bachelor degree.

Vice President Joseph R. Biden announced the launch of the Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium in his remarks to the American Association of Community Colleges in Washington, D.C.

“The decision to prepare a student for college or career is no longer an option in today’s competitive global economy,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “To ensure a highly skilled and trained work force that can compete with the best and brightest across the world, we have to train our students for college and career. This program provides a much needed pathway for students to develop needed technical skills while also pursuing a college degree, strengthening the middle class.”

“Strengthening the common-sense connection between apprenticeships and colleges is just one of the ways that we are transforming apprenticeship for the 21st century economy,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “As a result of this exciting new consortium, graduates of a Registered Apprenticeship program will not only have better access to jobs that lead to a sustainable career, but they’ll also have better access to an education — all with little or no debt.”

The SMART Center has worked closely with employers in the maritime and transportation industry, and particularly the shipbuilding and ship repair segment of the industry, to create a maritime technologies academic pathway built on the registered apprenticeship model. First implemented at SMART Center host Tidewater Community College, the SMART maritime technologies pathway is now providing maritime and transportation industry apprentices like Sarah Canclini with the opportunity to earn college credit for their registered apprenticeship experience and accelerate attainment of an associate or bachelor degree.

"The maritime and transportation industry is a critical crossroads," said SMART Center PI and Executive Director Barbara Murray. "With the majority of current skilled technicians at or nearing retirement age within the next five to 10 years, some of the largest employers in our nation need more highly skilled, academically credentialed employees like Sarah. We are grateful for the partnership of employers like BAE Systems, AMSEC, Huntington Ingalls Industries, Oceaneering, and others who recognize the value of  employing apprentices and enabling them to earn academic credentials as a way to enhance their companies' competitiveness."
Learn more about the new Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium and contact SMART Center PI Barbara Murray to learn more about opportunities for your students to enter the registered apprenticeship pathway or how your business can launch a registered apprenticeship program.

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