Page 58: of Maritime Logistics Professional Magazine (Q3 2014)

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Recruitment Recruitment Home Grown Talent Newport News? Apprentice School seeks to go beyond training workers, it seeks to build leaders. By Eric HaunThe Apprentice School at Huntington Ingalls Industries? (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division offers an invaluable educational and career opportunity for those seeking a profession in shipbuilding, but the school?s bene ts also extend much further than that. Within the HII business, the company uses the program to groom its apprentices for leadership roles within its managerial and corporate ladder. Students accepted into The Apprentice School in Newport News, Virginia enter tuition-free apprenticeships that provide an opportunity to earn college credit, receive competitive pay and bene ts and, most importantly, learn a useful trade on which to build a career. Upon commencement, Apprentice School graduates are highly skilled workers prepared to fur- ther impel Newport News?s tradition in building world-lead- ing naval vessels. Perhaps just as important to the training aspect of this story is the radically different place that HII  nds itself ? in com- parison to many of its peers ? especially in terms of its ef- forts to recruit, train and retain talent in the highly competitive shipyard game. Amidst countless stories lamenting the dearth of quali ed craftsmen on the U.S. Gulf Coast, the HII formula produces a different result, with literally thousands of desir- able candidates literally banging on the door to get in on the action. How HII accomplishes all of this just might surprise you. After discovering how, you probably won?t wonder why. The Program Since its founding in 1919, The Apprentice School has pro- duced more than 9,800 graduates who are skilled in various aspects of the shipbuilding trade, the vast majority of which have landed careers within the shipbuilding  eld ? mostly at the Newport News yard, although graduates are not required to stay within the HII group. Currently, about 13.5% of New- port News Shipbuilding?s 23,700 employees are Apprentice School graduates.Apprenticeships last anywhere from four to eight years, de- pending on the chosen curriculum, which could be one of 19 specially tailored shipbuilding disciplines with eight optional advanced programs of study. These careers include coatings specialist, electrician, maintenance electrician, heating and air conditioning, heavy metal fabricator, insulator, machinist, millwright, molder, nondestructive tester, outside machinist, patternmaker, pipe tter, rigger, sheet metal worker, ship t-ter, welder, welding equipment repair and other advanced disciplines such as shipyard operations, cost estimator, di- mensional control technician, marine designer, molding and simulation program analyst, nuclear test technician, produc-tion planner and marine engineer. Apprentices work a regular 40-hour week and are paid for all work, including time spent in academic classes. Beyond this, they attend classes two full days a week and spend the other three days in labs gaining hands-on technical instruc-tion and experience. The curriculum encompasses on-the-job training with a strong foundation in shipbuilding discipline theory. In total, each apprentice completes at least 1,000 hours of coursework in the Trade Related Education Curriculum (TREC) and World Class Shipbuilder Curriculum (WCSC). Through partnerships with Thomas Nelson Community College, Tidewater Community College and most recently, Old Dominion University, the school?s academic program provides an opportunity to earn associate degrees in business administration, engineering and engineering technology and bachelor?s degrees in mechanical or electrical engineering. The Apprentice School?s fulltime academic instructors cre- ate classroom experiences to prepare apprentices for work in their shipbuilding trades, to continue their education in one of the school?s advanced programs and to further their education through Newport News Shipbuilding?s Educational Assis- tance Program, through courses in business, communications, drafting, mathematics, physics and ship construction. Addi- tionally, more than 70 craft instructors (who are all Apprentice School graduates) pitch in to assist in the development of core leadership principles and craftsmanship essential for a suc-cessful shipbuilding career, help trainees to develop targeted skill sets, document the apprentices? development and provide regular evaluations. High-tech Facilities Due to the unique nature and high speci city of the ap-prenticeships, The Apprentice School and its leadership are structured within Newport News Shipbuilding, which designs, builds and maintains some of the most complex and techno- logically advanced nuclear and nonnuclear ships for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard and provides after-market services for military ships around the globe. And because The Apprentice school is located on-site at Newport News Shipbuilding, the school has access to state-of-the-art facilities that range from traditional classrooms to 2.5 miles of waterfront production facilities on the James River, including one of the Western Hemisphere?s largest dry docks and cranes, one of the world?s 58 | Maritime Professional | 3Q 201450-63 Q3 MP2014.indd 5850-63 Q3 MP2014.indd 588/14/2014 10:36:20 AM8/14/2014 10:36:20 AM

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