On Oct. 14 Huntington Ingalls Industries’ workforce development efforts and The Apprentice School were featured on PBS’ annual “American Graduate Day” program which was hosted by Soledad O'Brien and aired on PBS stations across the country. The live broadcast from New York City, designed to promote the importance of education and keeping youth on track to a high school diploma and beyond, featured interviews with HII President and CEO Mike Petters, modeling simulation apprentice, Elise Feldt and ASSA Faculty Advisor, Jason Kinney. While Petters’ interview focused on the greater perspective of intentional investment into the workforce development pipeline and the importance of strategic involvement in education and development as early as possible, more specific questions about The Apprentice School and the influence of mentorship were asked of Feldt and Kinney.

Prompted by O’Brien, Kinney provided general information about the mission of the school, programs we offer, the developmental process of apprentices and the type of applicants we look for. O’Brien then shifted the focus on Elise, soliciting her perspective on the role mentorship played in her apprentice experience. Elise described the origins and impact of the coaching and mentoring relationship she has with Kinney along with a compelling story of how The Apprentice School, and ensuing opportunities, were significantly influential in helping her and her family overcome challenging circumstances.