Original Date: 07/13/1992
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Apprentice Training Program
Watervliet Arsenal (WVA) has a long-standing reputation for the development of highly qualified, journeyman-level craftpersons. The WVA Apprentice Training Program provides progressive, in-plant training in a variety of industrial disciplines. This program consists of intensive trade skills training over a four year period to replenish the workforce primarily with machinists, but also graduates heat treaters, electronic industrial control mechanics, and production machinery mechanics. Included in the courses of study is a concentration on automated numerical controlled machinery and equipment.
The academic courses are conducted by nearby Hudson Valley Community College, and consist of formal college instruction resulting in an Associate of Applied Sciences degree in Machining Processes upon graduation. This arrangement provides classroom and lab instruction directly related to the in-plant skills being developed. It includes hands-on machine shop practice (labs) with performance tests and projects throughout the course to demonstrate and insure competency.
On-the-job rotational assignments throughout the plant provide approximately 7,000 hours of training during the four years. Assignments normally last 10 weeks each and expose apprentices to adjunct functions such as quality control, inspections, toolmaking, production planning, material handling and expediting, prototyping, bench & assembly, heat treatments and surface coatings, along with a wide array of shop floor assignments to hone their skills in diverse state-of-the-art machining applications and equipment usage, specializing in the art of cannon manufacture.
WVA's visionary commitment, to train men and women to be highly skilled craftpersons has a long heritage. Management’s foresight has recognized the need to train in-house for skills unavailable in the local job market. It’s apprentice program not only develops and maintains it’s cadre expert journeymen, but the will-rounded experience has been a traditional feeder mechanism to promote graduates into higher level positions through the upper management level.
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