Facing a serious lack of skilled workers, manufacturers don’t just bemoan the failings of our nation’s educational system or wait for someone else to solve the problem. They step up and and address the challenges directly. Take Lockheed-Martin, for example.
MOORESTOWN, NJ, June 29, 2007 — Lockheed Martin’s [NYSE: LMT] Moorestown business recently welcomed the first 18 participants for its new Information Technology (IT) Apprenticeship Program. The three-year outreach program is designed to provide local high school students with valuable work experience and, ultimately, a possible career at Lockheed Martin.
The inaugural class of the IT Apprenticeship Program is made up of 11th grade students from the Burlington County Institute of Technology and Camden County Technical School. The program’s participants will receive classroom training at program partners Burlington County College and Camden County College; on-the-job training at Lockheed Martin; and continual one-on-one mentoring from assigned Lockheed Martin employees. For the final year of the program, following high school graduation, the participants will progressively spend more time getting “hands-on” experience at Lockheed Martin’s facility.
Upon successful completion of the IT Apprenticeship Program, participants will receive an Information Technician Registration Certificate from the state of New Jersey and have the opportunity to become full-time Lockheed Martin employees.
This program embraces many of the key training elements that NAM President John Engler and NAM member companies see as critical to successfully addressing the “skills gap.” It reaches into the high schools, involves the local community colleges and technical schools, and leads to an official certification that measures the technical skills gained by the apprentices.
A model program, yet one of hundreds that manufacturers are actively involved in — leading, really — around the country.
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