OC and PSNS & IMF are finalists for outstanding college/corporate partnership award

BREMERTON – Olympic College is a national finalist for the American Association of Community College (AACC) Outstanding College/Corporate Partnership Award.

OC is being recognized for its partnership with Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS) for the collaboration on the apprentice and helper programs. In 2015/16, there were 811 apprentices representing 24 trades, 215 apprentice program graduates and 1,354 helpers.

“This recognition is a testament to the long-standing partnership between OC and PSNS,” said OC President Dr. David Mitchell. “Through this program, students not only learn valuable trades, they complete an associate degree that allows them to earn family-wage jobs right here in our community.”

The apprenticeship programs involves four years of intensive training in one of 24 skilled trades. The first three years of the program are equally divided between skill training and college classes, which leads to an associate in technical arts degree as an industrial trades Technician.

OC’s partnership with PSNS dates back to the 1950s and serves as a model for other industry partners such as the naval shipyard in San Diego, which is modeling its program at PSNS. The OC/PSNS partnership consistently graduates 90 percent of apprentices with their ATA degree, with 100 percent job placement for those who finish the program.

“Olympic College is an outstanding partner in conducting our Apprentice Program,” said Dwight Otis, product line manager for PSNS & IMF. “Our program of on-the-job training and course academics has been spotlighted as a model Apprenticeship Program on several occasions, and OC has been instrumental in that success. The college’s development of curriculum and standards for the degree-producing program has allowed us to grow the future leaders for our Command.

“OC’s continuing educational innovations have also produced programs to help our employees to earn bachelors degrees and further develop beyond the apprenticeship. The college staff is well-respected within our organization and has the same passion to serve the mission that PSNS & IMF provides to our nation and our Navy.”

The AACC annual Awards of Excellence recognizes exceptional work among the nation’s two-year colleges in five categories: advancing diversity, college/corporate partnership, faculty innovation, community college safety, planning and leadership and student success.

This College/Corporate Partnership Award acknowledges collaboration between a college and corporate partner that demonstrates multi-year success in advancing the economic prosperity of the region, while contributing to the learning excellence of students.

Other finalists for the College/Corporate Partnership are Catawba Valley Community College (Florida); Lee College (Texas); and Mississippi Community College System.

Winners will be announced at the annual AACC convention April 22-25 in New Orleans.

As the voice of the nation’s community colleges, the AACC, represents nearly 1,200 member colleges serving 12 million diverse students. For more information on the AACC Awards of Excellence, visit www.ccdaily.com/2017/02/aacc-names-2017-awards-of-excellence-finalists.