Who We Are

Get to know the mission & history of Argonaut

Our Mission

We build adventurers through immersive learning experiences that challenge assumptions and shift norms for growing empowered talent in aerospace and maritime fields.

“To meet the future demand for seafarers it is vital that the industry actively promotes careers at sea and enhances maritime education and training worldwide, with a focus on the diverse skills needed for a greener and more digitally connected industry.”

– Guy Platten, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping

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“The pilot shortage for the industry is real, and most airlines are simply not going to be able to realize their capacity plans because there simply aren’t enough pilots, at least not for the next five-plus years.”

Scott Kirby, CEO, United Airlines

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Our History

Argonaut is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation founded by D. Andrew Ferguson and Douglas McConnell in 2010. Recognizing the workforce shortages and a lack of diversity in the aerospace and maritime industries, Ferguson and McConnell created a combined business/education model that incorporates a project-based learning environment and real-life experiences for high school-aged youth in the city of Cleveland. Argonaut’s goal is to engage young people in high-quality educational experiences, increase the number of youths who enter careers in the fields of aerospace and maritime, and increase the number of youths who successfully attain financial independence in adulthood through education and employment.

 The Power of the Argonauts

Argonaut is rooted in Greek Mythology and a reference to the band of heroes who set afoot the Argo to sail with Jason, a leader and hero, in the quest of the Golden Fleece.  It is representative of an adventurer engaged in an unchartered journey and aligns closely to our work and mission, as our students are great adventures seeking a great award thru uncharted waters.  Further, Argonaut also connects sea to sky in Greek Mythology, with   The large constellation known as the Argo Navis, represent the Argo Ship manned by Jason and the band of heroes.  Argonauts are explorers, adventurers, and heroes, much like the young people of Argonaut today!

"The new name is an exciting step forward for all of us– from students, parents, staff, community partners, supporters, and the region at-large– can embrace."

Drew Ferguson, Chief Executive Officer