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Local students benefit from partnership with Lockheed Martin

Schools in Franklin County are among the first in the state to begin offering an advanced manufacturing and basic skills pre-apprenticeship through Lockheed Martin.

The Franklin County Schools system began offering the class this semester to 11 seniors at the Career Technical Center, and Russellville High School will offer the same course in the fall.

“This is going to be very beneficial to them, even if they don’t end up working with Lockheed Martin, because they are going to learn all of the basic skills they would need for any job,” said Franklin County Career Technical Center Principal Jonathan King. “They’ll learn the importance of work ethic, attendance, motivation and job prep.”

King said Lockheed Martin reached out to career tech centers to identify those that might be interested in a partnership. Lockheed Martin provides the material for the pre-apprenticeship and trains the instructor.

The course consists of different modules wherein students will receive certifications for different aspects of manufacturing, such as the Alabama Ready to Work certificate, OSHA standards and different types of safety training.

The class is offered through the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship and will allow students to chance to join Lockheed Martin’s apprenticeship program. Once students have successfully completed the program, they are guaranteed at least an interview with the company.

FCCTS students in the course are working through the online curriculum while meeting once a week.

Once the course progresses to the hands-on portion, students will work in class five times a week.

Russellville High School will begin offering the course in the fall for seniors. The course will be set in one 80-minute block every day for the entire school year.

“We think this is really going to prepare them for any industry they go into,” said RHS Career Technical Director Natalie Bendall.

Bendall said the goal is to have the program improve what is already offered in manufacturing while allowing students the chance to fill a gap in the local industry.

“It helps them fill the bridge from school to work,” Bendall said. “In this area, there is a lot of demand for people to fill different jobs in industry, and this will give them the chance to do that.”

This is a new program, but King and Bendall said they both hope to continue offering the course in the future.

RHS is still currently looking for someone with manufacturing experience to teach the course in the fall. For more information, contact Bendall.

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