The Rhode Island Marine Trades Association will offer a third session of its Marine Trades Pre-Apprenticeship Program this summer, beginning a six-week intensive training program on July 7.
Launched in 2013, the program is for Rhode Islanders who are over 18 and looking to gain the skills needed for entry-level positions in the marine trades; the training also can lead to post-secondary training for candidates who want to deepen their skills further.
RIMTA said the most recent class of graduates, who matriculated in March, achieved a 90 percent job-placement rate within 30 days of graduation.
“The pre-apprenticeship program has built strong credibility in the marine trades, and many employers now look to our program as a source for entry-level employees,” RIMTA workforce development coordinator Jen Cornwell said in a statement. “Past graduates who have taken advantage of this free training and gone on to become valuable employees have helped us build a strong reputation throughout our industry.”
The program is designed to give participants an overview of the marine industry and its career opportunities. The six-week curriculum includes hands-on training in areas such as painting, varnishing, composites, hauling, rigging, forklift operation, marine systems, sailmaking and commissioning, as well as training in safety procedures and job-readiness preparation.
RIMTA coordinates the program with area employers and educational providers; training takes place throughout the state and requires a full-time commitment from participants. The program is free to participants; there is a $100-a-week incentive to attend all of the sessions.
Also included in the curriculum is a stint of six days of job shadowing for each student at an area employer. According to Cornwell, the job shadowing gives participants valuable job experience that can often lead to a full-time job offer.
RIMTA coordinates the program with leading marine-trades companies—including Hinckley, Hunt Yachts, Bristol Marine, New England Boatworks, Vanguard, Pirate Cove Marina, and Freedom Boat Club—and educational providers such as IYRS, MTTI, New England Tech, and Confident Captain.
Space in the program is limited. Interested participants who are over 18 and live in Rhode Island should complete the application form (found at www.rimta.org) in early June. Student interviews as well as assessments in reading, math, and hands-on aptitude will also take place in June. Participants do not need any prior boating experience to be accepted into the program.