Fostering Leadership through ACE

ACE = Academics, Craft Training, Extracurricular Activities

There aren’t many career opportunities like that of the BIW Apprenticeship Program. Even a national search might discover only a handful of employers that combine rigorous STEM education, exposure to high level cross discipline business operations, and craftsman quality training in a trade. At the end of the program, the apprentice graduate is well rounded and fills the need for the most rare and sought after type of job applicant in the economy: that of the college graduate with actual work experience.

Robert “Lincoln” Hull, President of Apprentice Student Association


The academic curriculum meets the rigorous requirements of the Maine Maritime Academy. College level classes are generally held on-site during the apprentice’s regular paid work hours, which are paid while taking classes.” A normal academic week includes about eight hours of classroom instruction per week. Tuition, books and fees are paid by the company. When students are not in the academic setting (the remaining work week), they receive craft training and serve in essential areas within their trade.  Regardless of the trade, all apprentices are required to complete a STEM-related core academic curriculum consisting of 30 credits of instruction in the subject matter areas of technical mathematics, drafting, physical science; and technical communications.

Craft Training

Apprentices are first and foremost employees of General Dynamics Bath Iron Works. Serving in one of the fourteen basic and eight advanced programs, apprentices add value to our product line in everything they do. One factor that makes this apprenticeship program so unique is its model mentorship. While on the job, apprentices are assigned to a front line supervisor (FLS). Each FLS, typically a master craftsperson and an apprentice grad him or herself, supervises the apprentice on the job and acts as a mentor as they work to build the product alongside all other employees. Each FLS was selected among peers to serve in this capacity based on an ability to guide and motivate as a mentor. Although these FLS’s look and operate as supervisors on the shop floor, because they also serve the School, they are uniquely allowed to devote the strong focus toward the development of the apprentice. Besides the daily one-on-one guidance and transition assistance to the occupational community, the FLS evaluates and provides official performance feedback to the apprentice through a quarterly craft evaluation. In all, these FLS’s provide a valuable element of mentorship that so many new apprentices need to properly transition into a career. Those students selected for one of the optional advanced programs will continue academically for either a full associate’s degree or coursework towards a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

View Basic ProgramsView Advanced Programs

Extracurricular Activities

In addition to the program of instruction and the on-the-job experience. The BIW Apprentice School has the look and feel of a traditional college, as it offers a full range of extracurricular activities. The school has fielded varsity athletics in intercollegiate competition since 2019. While wrestling is the only varsity sport sanctioned by the NCWA, the Apprentice School hopes to bring on golf and men’s and women’s basketball in the near future. Student body input and involvement in planning, implementing, and helping to finance extracurricular activities are provided through the Apprentice Student Association (ASA), which is directed by an elected student council. Through this organization, apprentices organize and participate in intramural sports including competitive action in track & field, cycling, basketball, skiing, golf, softball and volleyball. The ASA also organizes and performs community service activities, including sponsorship of the local Special Olympics and social events. The camaraderie is infectious and provides a very positive workplace/school environment.

What sports does the BIW Apprentice School offer?

Apprentice Athletics currently offers Division III-level competition in wrestling with hope to include men’s and women’s basketball in the near future.

Who does an applicant contact about playing a sport at the school?

To learn more about Apprentice Athletics, send an email to

Are intramural sports offered by the BIW Apprentice School?

Several intramural sport opportunities are available through BIW’s recreational association (BIWRA). For more information, send an email to