workforce development

Atrion apprenticeship program approved by state

ON THE JOB: Atrion Networking Corp. managed services specialist Raffaele Laurenza, left, trained support-services associate Derek Milewski in the company's inhouse apprenticeship program.
Posted 2/16/12

WARWICK – The state has authorized Atrion Networking Corp. to start its first information technology workforce training apprenticeship program, Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee announced Thursday.

In the one-year Internetworking Associate Apprentice Program, Atrion will provide 2,000 hours of on-the-job training and 272 hours of related classroom instruction in contemporary digital information technology systems.

“Moving the traditional apprenticeship model into non-traditional settings, such as the IT world, is a smart training strategy,” Chafee said in a news release. “It allows participants to work while they learn, and it requires businesses to be very involved in both the design and the delivery of skills training.”

Previous Rhode Island apprenticeship programs have included training in construction, manufacturing, carpentry, electrical systems, iron work, pipefitting and machinery.

In addition to classroom learning, apprentices will follow senior engineers, who will provide mentoring, in the field.

“Our goal is to educate and train entry-level technicians in both the practical and theoretical aspects of the customized technology process,” said Jamie Boughman, apprentice program manager at Atrion. “In the future, we hope to expand our apprenticeship model to include stackable credentials for upward mobility within our organization.”

The R.I. Department of Labor and Training, which co-authorized the program, is also exploring apprenticeships in health care, hospitality and the marine trades.

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