PASCAGOULA, Miss., Aug. 06, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (NYSE:HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division hosted a ceremony today for 51 graduates of the company’s apprentice program. The class of 2016 students represents several classes of shipyard trades.
“When you applied for this program, you were choosing to start down a path to becoming an Ingalls leader,” Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said to the graduating class. “As graduate apprentices, your future is full of tremendous opportunities—in shipbuilding and in life. Anyone can make the right decision when it’s easy. Real leaders make the right decision when it’s hard and no one is looking. I challenge you to take the responsibility as a leader. Choose to make a difference and be an example for others. As I look out across this room, I am encouraged by what our future holds. Don’t lose the momentum, because you are the future of Ingalls Shipbuilding, and what you do today—and every day—really does matter.”
Since 1952, Ingalls’ Apprentice School has produced nearly 5,000 graduates trained to fulfill the shipyard’s operational needs. The program offers a comprehensive two- to four-year curriculum for students interested in shipbuilding careers. Ingalls partners with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in the program, and Dr. Mary Graham, the community college’s president, was this keynote speaker at this year’s graduation ceremony.
“As I thought about my comments today, I began to think about how amazing it is that the most advanced warships in the world are being built right here in south Mississippi,” Graham said. “I see it as a privilege to be an American. In many countries we would not have the freedoms and privileges that we enjoy today. So with those privileges comes great responsibility. A responsibility to add value to whatever we do, build or touch. Congratulations to all of you on your hard work and commitment. Continue on this path of excellence to set your standards high and to be the best American you can be.”
The Class of 2016 at Ingalls Shipbuilding's Apprentice School celebrates at Saturday's graduation ceremony. Photo by Andrew Young/HII
More than 60 faculty and staff members deliver 13 programs and more than 120 course offerings to apprentices to gain not only the skills, knowledge and pride of workmanship, but also the educational foundation and personal qualities needed to fully meet the challenges of a shipbuilding career. Today more than 1,500 apprentice alumnae fill approximately 50 different types of jobs at Ingalls, many in craft, with 800 alumni going on to management and professional roles throughout the shipyard.
“We should never stop learning new and better ways to do our jobs,” said Jonathan Brewer, a pipe welder and the class’ outstanding apprentice of the year. “We are the future of the company, and we are not only building ships, we are building ships for the Navy and Coast Guard that defend our country and our freedom. It is an honor to be a part of that.”
About Huntington Ingalls Industries
Huntington Ingalls Industries is America’s largest military shipbuilding company and a provider of engineering, manufacturing and management services to the nuclear energy, oil and gas markets. For more than a century, HII’s Newport News and Ingalls shipbuilding divisions in Virginia and Mississippi have built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder. Headquartered in Newport News, Virginia, HII employs nearly 35,000 people operating both domestically and internationally. For more information, visit: