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SMART Center Releases New "Registered Apprenticeship Pathway" Video in Career Awareness Series

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During National Registered Apprenticeship week the SMART Center has released the latest video in its "Make the SMART Choice" career awareness series about challenging, well-paying jobs in the maritime and transportation industry. The video - entitled "The Registered Apprenticeship Pathway" - features three technicians currently employed by major leaders in the maritime and transportation industry. Colter Chambers was able to turn his love for working on cars into an apprenticeship position working on some of the nation's largest ships as an outside machinist at Oceaneering International. Navy veteran Geneva Smith is a marine carpenter apprentice at BAE Systems enjoying the financial security her apprenticeship program provides. Jennifer GIlbert is also using her previous Navy experience in her new position as a technical writer in Oceaneering's apprenticeship program and is looking forward to anticipated promotions.

All three apprentices are earning a full-time salary and benefits during their apprenticeship, learning a trade from a master journeyman, and their employer is paying for their college education. At the end of their apprenticeship they will earn portable industry credentials such as the DOLI Journeyman card and academic credentials including academic certificates from Tidewater Community College which can "stack" toward an A.A.S. Maritime Technologies degree.

The SMART Center based its SMART Maritime Technologies pathway on the registered apprenticeship model. The pathway, which is offered at host institution Tidewater Community College, is also being used as a model for other industry-related academic pathways to meet the technician workforce development needs in other sectors such as vessel operations and port-based logistics and operations. With the SMART Maritime Technologies pathway apprentices are able to earn college credit for their required apprenticeship-related instruction (ARI) which is not the case with every apprenticeship program.

"We know that the registered apprenticeship pathway is the gold standard for the shipbuilding and repair sector of the maritime and transportation industry," says SMART Center Principal Investigator (PI) and Executive Director Barbara R. Murray. "It was a natural fit to create an academic pathway around the model and offer apprentices the opportunity to not only earn industry-valued credentials but also academic credentials which can further boost their long-term earning power. In addition the pathway has proven to increase enrollments and completions by targeted populations including women, veterans, first-generation college students and underserved minorities."