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One of a Kind Apprenticeship Offered
UAS Ketchikan Shipyard Education & Training Program


November 20, 2004

Ketchikan, Alaska - The University of Alaska Southeast Ketchikan in conjunction with Alaska Ship and Drydock Alaska Shipyard System for Education and Training (ASSET) Program received approval from the U.S. Department of Labor to begin a marine industrial coater apprenticeship program.

The ASSET program is a collaborative effort between UAS Ketchikan, Alaska Ship and Drydock (ASD) and the National Shipbuilding Research Project (NSRP). The two-year-old program offers training opportunities for the shipyard's workforce as one way to maintain and develop skill levels which in turn, provide more stable, year-round employment.

The apprenticeship is the first of its kind in the nation and is based on NSRP skill standards. The apprenticeship is specific to the marine industry and the technology affecting surface preparation and application of proper coatings to prevent premature corrosion thus extending the life of a vessel.

Jacob Case, the first ASD employee to accept the apprenticeship, will spend the next 6000 hours under the direct supervision of a journeyman level marine coater.
With the average age of shipyard employees at 46-years-old, the ASSET Program hopes to encourage younger shipyard employees to apply for this apprenticeship to ensure there is a skilled and stable workforce for the future.

"The importance of this apprenticeship," says Doug Ward, ASD Director of Shipyard Development, "is that in a shipyard, the coating process effects almost every other ship repair process. Modern marine coatings systems require increasingly complex surface preparation and application processes requiring a considerable technical proficiency. A ship's paint job is the first thing a client sees when a project is complete."

With technological and environmental regulations continuously changing, the job of marine industrial coating is becoming a highly skilled specialty. The training standards from NSRP and the US Department of Labor set out over 1200 hours of surface preparation instruction, 1800 hours of coating instruction and numerous hours in hazardous materials, safety, asbestos awareness, OSHA standards, lead awareness and a variety of other important safety and work-related training hours. When completed, the apprentice will have full journeyman level status as a Marine Industrial Coater.

UAS Ketchikan staffs an office at the Alaska Ship and Dry Dock and will be responsible for ensuring the apprenticeship program meets the federal guidelines laid out by the U.S. Department of Labor. The shipyard staff continues to offer training to other shipyard employees in a variety of work-related areas which furthers the original mission of cross-training employees to develop a more stable workforce in the shipyard industry.

The University of Alaska Southeast Ketchikan Campus provides a wide variety of educational courses and programs to Ketchikan and the surrounding communities throughout the year. Many course offerings are available both locally and through distance avenues including web-based, audio conference, teleconference and satellite offerings. Through these offerings, students can achieve certifications, associate, bachelor and master degrees.


Source of News:

University of Alaska Ketchikan
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