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In January 2017, Stevens Towing created a Youth Apprenticeship at the Yonges Island shipyard. The goal of the program is to foster ties with the local community through Baptist Hill High School and St. John’s High School, and to develop a workforce pipeline through collaborative training and mentoring.

William Holmes, who retired as a shipyard supervisor with Stevens after 25 years returned to the shipyard to instruct and mentor the students. He teaches proper techniques of SMAW “Stick” welding, GMAW “MIG” welding, grinding and oxy-fuel cutting, while incorporating workplace safety and the use and care of tools and equipment. The curriculum is structured with a duality of classroom instruction and hands-on practice in the shipyard based on the SC Standards for Welding Technology I and II.

Mathilde Dumond, Apprenticeship Coordinator added other pertinent lessons, including soft skills, career development, communication skills and financial literacy. Other topics covered in the classroom include basic math and measurement, journal writing and identification of hand tools.

“The apprentices earn an elective credit toward their high school diploma for this class, so we incorporate a well-rounded skill set for them as they transition to college and full-time employment. We want them to be successful in their career, and in life. The opportunities for learning are everywhere in the shipyard. Apprentices observe a myriad of activity such as a barge being repaired, a tugboat being drydocked, a hatch cover being fabricated and a ship being launched. It is an exciting place to learn and ameliorate their job skills. Additionally, every week we have a guest speaker come in to cover topics such as safety procedures, firefighting, 401Ks and investing as well as artistic welding.” – Mathilde Dumond, Apprenticeship Coordinator

“Our partnership with Stevens Towing helps us to meet our goal of ensuring our students have access to opportunities to prepare them for college and career readiness. The students enjoy being a part of the real-world work environment while learning welding skills from the people who do it every day. Stevens provides authentic career readiness to our students.” –
Vanessa P. Brown, M.A.T., M.Ed,
Principal, Baptist Hill Middle High School
“Our goal is to offer the students in our community a work-based learning opportunity where they can develop a skill. Many of our employees live in this community, and this is our home. The apprenticeship is an investment in building our community.” – Johnson Stevens, President

“This program benefits the students, the school, the community and our company. It’s a win, win, win for everybody.” – Susan Stevens, VP Public Relations

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