- Training Tomorrow’s Workforce: Community College and Apprenticeship as Collaborative Routes to Rewarding Careers by Robert I. Lerman (2009)
Finding a secure and rewarding career is a difficult task. Students graduating from various programs, individuals who have been laid off, and current employees looking to further their skills or changes careers are all competing for a fixed number of positions. Meanwhile, industry is clamoring for individuals to fill very specific positions that require very specific and technical training, noting a gap between the skills students have when they enter the workforce and the skills they need on the job.
To fill this gap, community colleges across the country are partnering with industry to create programs that ensure students leave well-prepared for the workforce, and increasingly these programs are apprenticeships. In 2009. there were nearly half a million students in federally-registered apprenticeship programs in the US and at least another half million in unregistered programs (Gonzalez, 2010). These programs work by giving students on-the-job training, often with a paycheck, combined with classroom instruction resulting in a degree or certification. Students are able to advance their careers and skills without having to make the large financial sacrifice of going to school full time, and industry is able to train students to do the work they need done. The economic benefit for the student, the company, and the climate nationwide is clear. In particular, the maritime and transportation technology fields provide a number of apprenticeship options for students interested in pursuing a career, both on land and at sea. Apprenticeships are available for shipyard positions including pipefitter, rigger, welder, machinist, electrician, and more on waterways and coastal areas around the country. At sea, students can learn the tasks to become a deckhand, galleyhand, able seaman, a steward, an engineer and much more. For more information about specific maritime and transportation apprenticeship opportunities, click here.
The SMART Center works to encourage the development of and involvement in apprenticeship programs across the country,and specifically in the Southeast. (The director of SMART, Barbara Murray, also serves to oversee program development and curriculum approval for more than 10 Maritime-related registered apprenticeship programs.) This section of the SMART Center site provides information on how to become involved in apprenticeships as students or administrators, the benefits of apprenticeship, companies and organizations involved in building apprenticeship programs, and stories of successful apprentices and apprentice programs.
The SMART Center at Tidewater Community College (TCC) creates synergy among maritime and transportation industries and educational professionals building a highly skilled and educated workforce, linking registered apprenticeship with academic credentials. Through the development of career pathways, students earning career studies certificates can accumulate credits toward associate and baccalaureate degrees.
For More Information
Preparing For Success Through Apprenticeship