b'FOGHORNFOCUS: HUMAN RESOURCESTo address these challenges, we(ABOVE) NCDOT Ferry created charts with clear paths forProfessionalizing the Workforcecreated ladders of opportunity to dem- advancement for employees to see their future prospectsWe know that like everyone, our onstrate to new hires that if they staywithin the operation and what they need to do to achieveworkforce wants to be respected for the on the job and do well, there is a path oftheir goals. important jobs they do. Accordingly, upward mobility leading to even better(720 days of sea service), a Mate couldthe N.C. Ferry System purchased new positions.become a Captain, if the proper creden- uniforms for employees that demon-For example, a newly hiredtials and qualifications are attained.strate their professionalism as well as ordinary seaman is required to haveA similar path is available for enginedisplay their role/rank within the or-seven days of training. After about aroom personnel. A new hire that startsganization. year (360 days of sea service) this indi- as a wiper, could find themselves as aAdditionally, we instituted a new vidual could rise to be an Able-bodiedchief engineer in a few years, if certainonboarding process for employees Seaman. Then, about two years laterrequirements and training are met.to help them get up to speed quicker and with more knowledge. Not only are they more prepared for working for the ferry system, theyre more confident that they understand their jobs and how they support the organi-zation. This is aided by the continuing education that we offer and encourage all employees to partake. Apprentice ProgramLike many PVA Vessel members, we sometimes find it a challenge to find enough qualified people to fill the jobs we have, particularly as the maritime sector is a specialized industry that many workers have no experience with, especially in our shipyard. We need skilled workers who have training in a number of areas to keep our ferries well maintained and ready for service. A partnership with a community college has resolved many of those issues. The Ferry Division has partnered with the College of Albemarle, NC to offer apprenticeships for students enrolled in a welding tech-nology program. The first internships were offered to nine welding students over the summer of 2018. The initial success of this program has encour-aged ferry staff to explore other intern-8MAY 2020FOGHORN'