FAQ for Career Seekers: Marine Trades & Composites Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program


Q: What is the Marine Trades & Composites Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program?

A: The Marine Trades & Composites Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program is a seven-week program for individuals looking to gain the skills needed for entry-level positions in the marine and composites industries in Rhode Island. The program is coordinated by the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association (RIMTA).


Q: What will I learn?

A: Students get hands-on training in a wide range of skill areas that are in demand by Rhode Island marine companies, including safety training, carpentry, composites, boat building, marine systems, welding, composites, painting and varnishing, forklift operation, rigging and other areas. Students are also trained in job readiness and customer service. Along with the hands-on training, students do a six-day job shadow, which is a short-term internship with a local employer in an area students are interested in pursuing. Students get a good overview of the different occupations in the industry during the program, so they can decide what types of jobs they are most interested in after graduation.


Q: What’s a typical week like in the program?

A: The program runs Monday to Friday, from 8 am to 4 pm. Students get instruction at different venues throughout the state—both at marine companies and at our educational providers—so it’s great exposure to the industry. Depending on what students are learning that day, they could be in Middletown or Newport, Bristol, Warwick, Portsmouth; having transportation is key. Most of the days will be hands-on. Students should be prepared to get dirty and work in different weather environments—whether it’s 80 degrees and humid or it’s raining and 50 degrees. There is some classroom instruction; for example, OSHA training and job readiness skills are taught in a classroom.


Q: What does the program cost?

A: The program requires a full-time commitment but is completely free for participants. In fact, there is a paid incentive for those with 100-percent attendance.


Q: When is the program held?

A: Twice a year, with one session in the winter and one in the summer.


Q: Who can apply to the program?

A: The program is open to Rhode Island residents who are over age 18.


Q: How do I apply?

A: Applicants first fill out an online application and potential candidates are interviewed. Space is limited, so those who make it to the next stage do a reading and math assessment, as well as a hands-on assessment. The process is multi-step to ensure a good fit—both so students can learn if this is what they want to do, and program organizers can select the best candidates who will become valuable employees in the marine trades.


Q: Do I need to have boating experience?

A: No. Boating experience is not required. Students only need an interest in working around boats and a willingness to work hard and keep learning, even after students are hired and on the job. Many individuals also use the program to transfer their skills from other fields—for example, from the construction and automotive industries.


Q: How long is the internship?

A: The internship, or job shadow, is six days. This gives students and companies a good opportunity to get to know each other. Employers have an opportunity to see a student’s level of skill and his or her work ethic. Many times employers offer a student a full-time job at the end of the job shadow.


Q: Do most graduates get jobs after the program?

A: Yes. Many students are offered jobs by the companies they do their job shadow with. So far the program has a 90% placement rate for graduates.

Q: What job-placement services does the program offer?

A: RIMTA’s workforce development staff, who are with the students throughout the program, help match students and companies. Many companies in Rhode Island look to this program as a source for talented, entry-level workers.


Q: How can I apply?

A: The first step is to fill out an online application at www.rimta.org. Check the RIMTA website at www.rimta.org for starting dates, or contact Program Director Jen Huber at jen@rimta.org or 401-396-9619 with any questions.