SoMD2030 is a joint initiative of the Southern Maryland Navy Alliance (SMNA) and The Patuxent Partnership (TPP), with funding provided by Naval Air Warfare Center Aviation Division (NAWCAD). This collaborative effort will build up our STEM pipeline, increase career opportunities, and partner with government, industry, and academia.
The mission of SoMD2030 is to successfully connect talented students to career positions with paid internships and apprenticeships in Southern Maryland.
Formation and Background
The increased career talent development demands in industry, government and academia and the need to attract, recruit, develop and retain a strong St. Mary’s County workforce to support Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River and its primary tenant, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) is essential.
In 2016, St. Mary’s County government conducted a community study which determined a youth workforce gap upon high school graduation where youth were uncertain of next steps for career-enhancing opportunities. Southern Maryland Navy Alliance (SMNA) Workforce addressed this finding and developed a strategy to lessen the gap through security clearance understanding and engagement of youth in career-focused Navy supporting community opportunities of apprenticeships and internships. The plan involves seed funds to jump-start the workforce by paying apprentices and interns for their work. Companies participating in this community workforce development program, especially small businesses with little or no overhead for apprenticeships or internships, will benefit with labor and product, and the apprentices and interns benefit by gaining on-the-job work experience and pay. The SoMD2030 tagline is: Identify, hire, and retain talent.
In April 2022, SMNA received $1 million in federal funding for SoMD2030 to begin the program work, and in November 2022, SoMD2030 received an additional $1 million to support a 2023-2024 school year workforce program in Calvert County. SMNA leadership as SoMD2030 governance selected The Patuxent Partnership (TPP) to manage the program. SoMD2030 is an approach to attract and develop talent within the community and provide opportunities to retain talent. It creates employment opportunities and develops the workforce of the future in key areas to support NAVAIR and its innovative technologies. This program is designed to meet the workforce challenges that leadership at Naval Aviation Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) has identified to community leaders and addresses challenges raised by companies directly supporting Navy in the Southern Maryland region. The SoMD2030 strategy for early workforce engagement is a two-tiered program to attract young adults from high school to early college. This program involves both internships and apprenticeships.
SoMD2030 summer internship program
The internship program is offered to newly graduated high schools students and/or enrolled college students with varied academic disciplines and backgrounds to provide a dynamic learning environment, where interns can gain work skills necessary to set them on a path to success. The internship tier includes a rotation of work areas on and off the base that provides a snapshot of opportunities. Interns must register for the program, provide a resume, and have an interview with industry, business, and government recruiters. Once selected, the intern will be hired by TPP, paid by TPP, and work for the company that selected him/her to work. Internships are offered in the following fields: mechanical and electrical engineering; physics / aerospace, robotics, information technologies, computer science, business adminstration, videography/ graphic design, social media, and cybersecurity.
- Have a minimum of 2.8 GPA on a 4.0 scale
- Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science, engineering, mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer software, finance, accounting, psychology or a related field at an accredited undergraduate college
- Possess strong analytical, research, and communication skills that can demonstrate capacity to critical thinking
- Must be a US citizen or lawful permanent resident
- Must commit to participating for the FULL 8-week summer internship program
SoMD2030 apprenticeship program
The second tier is apprenticeships. Apprenticeships focus on trade skills development and engaging local industry to mentor high school students for career opportunities in military-supported artisanship work. The SoMD2030 program has a partnership with the county public schools career and technology education (CTE) center to collaborate with the previously established CTE Tech Jobs Rule (TJR) program. TJR matches juniors and seniors with on-site work to enrich skills the they learn at the CTE. As in the classroom, the apprentices earn high school grades based on on-site performance such as promptness to work, attendance, work product performance, and soft skills. Each apprentice completes 450 hours of work per the high school graduation requirement. The students attend in-school courses in the morning and at the work-site in the afternoon. The companies complete performance evaluations for graduation requirement purposes.
To support the augmented workforce program, using grant funding TPP hired an additional TJR (Tech Jobs Rule) coordinator to manage the increased student enrollment. For the SoMD2030 apprenticeships, the students are paid by TPP for their work. The TJR coordinator oversees the apprentice enrollment initiative, regular visits to the work site, apprentice performance score and apprentice hours. The goal is for graduating apprentices is to seamlessly walk across the graduation stage to a company job with job skills, salary, and benefits.
- Be enrolled in the St. Mary’s County Public Schools Career and Technology program at the James A. Forrest Technology Center
- Taking coursework in manufacturing, business operations or STEM fields supporting Tech Jobs Rule (TJR)
- Has completed 1-2 years at the Forrest Technology Center and recommended by the TJR coordinators
- Is committed to completing the 450-hour TJR on-the-job skill training Plans to complete the SoMd2030 apprenticeship program upon graduation from high school