Lockheed Martin Launches IT Apprenticeship Program In Northern Virginia

HERNDON, Va., 12/09/2009 --

This fall, 21 Northern Virginia high school students joined Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] experts to learn about information technology. The students are part of the first class of Lockheed Martin IT Apprentices in the Washington Metro Area.

The IT Apprenticeship Program partners with local high schools and provides technical training opportunities and mentoring to help develop local students into highly-skilled IT talent. This unique program, started in the Valley Forge, Pa. area in 2002, has been recognized with multiple local, state and national awards as a flagship science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) initiative.

"This program demonstrates the commitment we have to education," said Monica McManus, vice president of engineering, Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Services -Intelligence. "It's a proven method of providing valuable on-the-job training and skills, and eventually job placement, for underrepresented youth in our community."

High school juniors are hired into the program and spend 3.5 years working toward Registered IT Specialist I certification. Upon high school graduation, apprentices continue with Lockheed Martin fulltime for 12-15 months in rotational work assignments. These work assignments represent the final phase of this U.S. Department of Labor registered apprenticeship program. During their time in the program, the students are also assigned mentors who follow them throughout the program.

"My experience with the apprenticeship program was very rewarding," said Michael Cashe, a mentor with the program. "Watching and helping a high school student with outstanding potential begin to contribute to the Lockheed Martin Corporation is of significant importance to me as a mentor."

Upon successful completion of the program, apprentices receive permanent off-program placement into entry level positions within Lockheed Martin. While working fulltime, these early career employees benefit from the Corporation's Education Assistance Program to continue their pursuit of college degrees.

"The IT Apprenticeship Program is an innovative program that offers students the opportunity to learn about careers in technology and engineering, receive site-based training from highly qualified professionals working in the field and gain valuable work experience that is a necessity in today's economic market," said Cara Kirby, Career Education Specialist, Fairfax County Public Schools.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 employees worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacturing, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.