We knew the video that Joel Rubin and JPixx Video in Virginia Beach produced for the Southeast Maritime and Transportation Center (SMART) was good. But when Brad Mason of AMSEC, a national firm which provides technical services to the Navy and commercial maritime industry, told us that “every high school in our area should see” it, we knew we had hit the spot.
The approximately three-minute piece, which profiles four former apprentices who are now employed at local shipyards, was the latest in a series that Rubin Communications Group has produced. Most can be viewed at www.maritime-technology.org and several are now on the Department of Labor’s website as well. Called Make the Smart Choice, they tell high school students, career changers and veterans separating from the services why they should consider pursuing an educational path to job opportunities in the maritime trades and transportation logistics at the nation’s ports.
Viewers meet four young people, among them Ashley Wilbur who was a cashier and cook for eight years at a local Hardee’s before enrolling in an apprentice program at BAE Systems shipyard in Norfolk. At BAE, her employer paid for her to go to Tidewater Community College at night while she worked at the yard during the day, earning valuable certifications along the way that have enabled her to take vacations, buy a car and soon own her own home.
Companies like AMSEC rely on the SMART program to disseminate information that promotes jobs in their industries. That’s the value of the videos that RCG produces. The latest series was shot in Houston, with great assistance from the Port of Houston, and at port facilities in Baltimore and at BAE in Norfolk. “We love telling these stories,” says Joel, “because they are very uplifting. I learn a lot about these people and how hard they work at their jobs and in school to get ahead. This latest one with Ashley Wilbur, Mike Treadwell, Max Hrank and Billy Fowler is one of my favorites, and I know SMART agrees with Brad Mason that it needs wide airing.”