NEWPORT NEWS—The Apprentice School at Newport News Shipbuilding is participating in a four-year effort to increase equity, diversity, and inclusion in registered apprenticeship programs.
As part of the recently announced $13 million cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Labor, The Apprentice School is joining seven other strategic partners that will work with Jobs for the Future, a nonprofit that works to make the nation’s workforce and education systems more equitable.
Department of Labor data shows that participation and completion rates for women and minorities in registered apprenticeship programs lag behind all active apprentices. However, the percentage of students at The Apprentice School who are minorities or women is significantly higher than the national average. School leaders will assist and guide other organizations through several methods, including sharing best practices, panel discussions, workshops, and written resources.
“This is an important workforce development initiative, and we are excited to work with Jobs for the Future to help other organizations increase equity, diversity, and inclusion,” said Latitia McCane, director of education at The Apprentice School. “We have been successful in recruiting and retaining minority students. If you have something that works, I think it’s important to share that with others to help them accelerate and get into the space they need to be in.”
The Apprentice School offers four- to eight-year, tuition-free apprenticeships in 19 trades and eight optional advanced programs. Accredited by the Council for Occupational Education, The Apprentice School is certified to offer Associate’s degrees of applied marine science in maritime technology in 26 educational programs. Through partnerships with Thomas Nelson Community College, Tidewater Community College, and Old Dominion University, The Apprentice School’s academic program provides the opportunity to earn Associate’s degrees in business administration and engineering technology, in addition to Bachelor’s degrees in mechanical or electrical engineering.