Lockheed Martin Apprentices Take Alternative Path to Success

Ask an Apprentice

Ask yourself, what is a “traditional” path to success? Is it attending a four-year university right after graduating high school? Is it getting a summer internship as a college student?

For more than 7,800 talented employees at Lockheed Martin who chose to pursue an associate degree, that path may look a little different but proves to be just as effective in being successful. Now, we’re creating even more opportunities for community college students to work as apprentices, taking a path that provides the mentoring and hands-on experience of a full-time job while learning in the classroom. Training Aspiring Locals to Engineer a New Tomorrow (T.A.L.E.N.T.) is a program that enables the next generation to do just that.

T.A.L.E.N.T. is an apprenticeship program that invests in the ever-increasing level of technical expertise that high school students are developing prior to college. Our tuition reimbursement eases the financial burden that can come along with working full time while continuing their education.

Let three inspiring young women tell you about their journeys to pursue a career in STEM.

April 29, 2024



Meet Alexa Dominguez

For almost two years, Alexa has been a Mission Electronics Subsystem (MES) Engineering Apprentice with the Manassas, Va. T.A.L.E.N.T. program. She’s not only taking classes Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), but also working towards a scrum product owner certification.  

What made you want to go into STEM?

I joined a summer immersion program called Girls Who Code and it was a two-week boot camp where I was introduced to Java and Python. 

After that I was really intrigued and decided to take AP Computer Science senior year. That’s when I told my guidance counselor I was interested in getting into software engineering. He heard about the Women in Engineering Day that Lockheed Martin was hosting and invited me to join. I was introduced to the T.A.L.E.N.T. program and that’s when I decided to apply, get into the STEM field and here I am now. 



What are three reasons someone should come work at Lockheed Martin?

As an apprentice, you get hands-on experience, and you’re also provided with a lot of trainings. Certifications in general cost a lot of money if you try to get them on your own. But Lockheed Martin provides it and you get to choose what benefits you. But also, it’s the culture. I really like my team and to this day I still reach out to people here and they’re very welcoming. When I attended Women in Engineering Day, I met LM employees who made me see the LM culture. I thoroughly enjoy the culture within my team; it fosters collaboration, creativity, and everyone contributes their unique strengths towards a shared mission.


Meet N'Na-Mayi Tama

This August will mark a year since N’Na-Mayi began as a Systems Engineering Apprentice on a submarine sonar system, the Acoustic Rapid Commercial Off-the-Shelf Insertion (ARCI). She is currently studying computer science at NOVA and hopes to double major in business information systems once transferring to a four-year university in the future. 

What brought you to Lockheed Martin?

Of course, there were information sessions that were held at my school, but I wanted an opportunity to get a head start with my career.

I’m from a community that’s really closed off when it comes to these kinds of jobs. Being here is an opportunity to better myself, but also show the other youth in my community that there are so many cool opportunities available to us pertaining to different career paths.


What excited you about STEM and what made you want to start your career at Lockheed Martin? 

It was mostly the fact that everything about STEM and Lockheed Martin is hands-on here. Ever since I was little, I’ve been drawn to things like spaceships, rockets, aerospace, and engineering. Naturally, I wanted to go into a field like that. I think RMS is a good place to begin because it’s showing me that there’s so much more outside of what I originally wanted to go into. 

Meet Naomi Cruz 

Naomi is a Submarine Warfare Federated Tactical System (SWFTS) Systems Engineering Apprentice who has been here for almost two years. Outside of work, she is pursuing an online degree in business management and administration at Western Governors University.

How would you encourage another young girl to gain exposure to STEM? What could she do to find her interest in STEM and learn more about it?

For somebody young that's interested in STEM, but they're not sure what they want to do, I would say it’s normal. One of the best things that you can do is get involved at school, STEM activities, and classes that are STEM-based where you can get some of the knowledge and skills you're looking for.  

A great way is apprenticeship programs like this great opportunity that Lockheed Martin has. When I was in high school, we had career days where different organizations would come to our school. We were able to talk and meet with those organization leaders and get advice and information about the program. I think any career events at school are great ways to network, get involved and get your name out there.



Why should someone work at Lockheed Martin, not just as an apprentice, but in general?

I will say one of the things I will always speak to is tuition reimbursement. The fact that Lockheed Martin is putting that investment into you and reimbursing you because they know it's going to bring you out on top in the end, and it's going to be an investment that's going to go right back into the company, I think is a huge thing.

As far as things that we're working for, I think that speaks to itself. We're providing for the customers and we're bringing those end-to-end products to them. It's such a great feeling being able to support our customers.


The Manassas T.A.L.E.N.T. program also has trailblazers joining a national movement. Naomi and Alexa are two of four members selected to be a part of the Department of Labor Apprentice Trailblazer Initiative helping to expand, diversify and modernize apprenticeship programs across the country.