The Many Paths to Learning

June 16, 2015

YRS students Vladimir Kevreshan and Asa Leighton watch as Jeff Reber of Composites One prepares a mold for infusion

IYRS students Vladimir Kevreshan and Asa Leighton watch as Jeff Reber of Composites One prepares a mold for infusion.

In an ongoing effort to promote careers in the marine trades and beyond, the International Yacht Restoration School in Rhode Island has long had a presence at IBEX. This year will be no different, and a chance to observe students at work in the composites technology program at IYRS shines a light on the value of hands-on training.
The IYRS campus setting is inspiring and energetic, and the stories of why the students in the current six-month session had chosen this IYRS course, which has attained acclaim for its practical, hands-on approach and job placement rate, are compelling.

Vladimir Kevreshan, a 29-year-old from Israel with a master’s degree in industrial design, sought a departure from building furniture. His goal is to take what he learns at IYRS back home to establish a boatbuilding operation.
U.S. military veteran Asa Leighton, at 39, has experience in several fields, among them computer programming, financial services, manufacturing, electronics, even as road crew for bands. He applied to IYRS via the Post-9/11 GI Bill. He hopes to use this training to gain a job in aerospace. “I love building things with my hands,” the high-energy Leighton said. “Who was I kidding working at a desk job?”

Luke Matelski credits the IYRS program for helping him sort through career choices.

Luke Matelski credits the IYRS program for helping him sort through career choices.

Yet one more student, 24-year-old Luke Matelski, attracted attention. At IYRS, Luke’s completed the advanced composites and marine systems programs and had planned to enroll in the third, boatbuilding and restoration. Of the two he finished, he couldn’t get enough of composites; he came to the school 24/7 and never spent fewer than a dozen hours on campus daily. “In composites you can be creative,” he told me. “You can go into aerospace, or construction. It’s not just boats. I can do almost anything with it.”

Not everyone has the time or the money to attend school. That’s why in-house apprenticeship programs and custom-tailored programs by employers to boost in-house performance are so valuable. For more about those paths to learning, consider attending IBEX seminar 104: Developing In-house Apprenticeship Programs and seminar 608: Using Existing Certification Training Programs to Boost In House Performance.

—Elaine Lembo
IBEX seminar manager