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PASCAGOULA, Miss., Sept. 06, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE: HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division, along with the Pascagoula-Gautier School District, celebrated the opening of a new talent development lab at Pascagoula High School today. The talent development lab at Pascagoula High School is the third in a partnership Ingalls forged with three local high schools to bolster each of the school’s technical programs, especially in shipbuilding trades. The first lab opened last year at Moss Point High School.

“The work we’ve accomplished with our partners at these schools has been outstanding, but it’s not done yet,” said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. “We know there is great potential in the American workforce and a great need for more skilled workers. These labs will give students along the Gulf Coast a head start in their prospective trades, making them some of the most highly competitive applicants when the time comes for them to enter the workforce. My hope is that this partnership will produce the skilled labor our country needs—leaders in our communities and young patriots that will one day build the ships needed to keep our nation safe.”

The talent development lab at Pascagoula High School is the third installment in the Ingalls Strategic Technical Education Partnership. I-STEP was established to assist local students in a career path by supporting their schools’ technical/welding programs and, in turn, cultivating the next-generation workforce. So far, Ingalls has opened labs at Moss Point High School and at Alma Bryant High School in Irvington, Alabama.

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Ingalls Shipbuilding celebrated the opening of a new welding lab and machine shop at Pascagoula High School. Participating in the ceremonial ribbon-cutting were (left to right) George S. Jones, Ingalls’ vice president of operations; Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias; Wayne Rodolfich, superintendent of the Pascagoula-Gautier School District; and Sonny Backs, president of the Pascagoula-Gautier School Board. Photo by Derek Fountain/HII

“We are focusing on having a better integration of young people into the workforce,” said Wayne Rodolfich, superintendent of the Pascagoula-Gautier School District. “The facility has not been renovated since the opening of the building in the 1970s. As you can imagine, we started running into problems with things like ventilation and cleanliness. Then Ingalls came along with an idea on how to help our students who want to get started in the industry, and we jumped at the opportunity.”

In addition to the renovations to the facilities, Ingalls has provided the schools with modern welding equipment and all of the necessary safety equipment to ensure industry standards are met while learning, which will provide an easier transition from student to professional.

About Huntington Ingalls Industries

Huntington Ingalls Industries is America’s largest military shipbuilding company and a provider of professional services to partners in government and industry. 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. HII’s Technical Solutions division provides a wide range of professional services through its Fleet Support, Mission Driven Innovative Solutions, Nuclear & Environmental, and Oil & Gas groups. Headquartered in Newport News, Virginia, HII employs more than 41,000 people operating both domestically and internationally. For more information, visit:

Danny Hernandez
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