Posted on Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Workforce WednesdayA groundbreaking collaboration of Virginia Community Colleges with the state’s largest private employer, Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS), a division of Huntington Ingalls Inc., has resulted in exceptional success. The Marine Skilled Trades Training program acquired jobs for 363 students in Hampton Roads, a 93 percent hiring rate for the program which began in 2010. 

Students hired by Newport News Shipbuilding earned wages of $32,000 plus benefits following two to three weeks of intensive training.

marine studentThe training has been an invaluable asset for Lydia Boone who completed the Marine Electrician course at Thomas Nelson and now works as an electrician at Newport News Shipbuilding. From the moment the electrician position was posted at NNS, Boone went on a whirlwind tour to get trained and hired with the shipyard.

“I use everything I was taught in the class,” said Boone. “I never worked with anything electrical before and the class has given me a leg-up in the shipyard. I wish others could have benefited from the same experience.”

Thomas Nelson, Tidewater, Paul D. Camp, Rappahannock and Eastern Shore Community Colleges identified a growing need for skills training in Hampton Roads. To meet the demand, the five colleges formed an historic partnership with the Virginia Community Colleges System (VCCS) and Newport News Shipbuilding to train and hire skilled workers from the area. 

“Community colleges deliver,” stated Dr. Deborah Wright, vice president of Thomas Nelson Workforce Development and chair of the Marine Trades Training collaborative.

The Marine Skilled Trades Training collaborative is led by Thomas Nelson whose partnership with the shipyard has endured nearly a half-century.  

The coalition of community colleges utilized funding from VCCS to offer training in Marine Electrician, Outside Machinist, Marine Painter, and Marine Welder courses. Since its inception, a total of 388 individuals have completed the program.

Contributed by Thomas Nelson Community College.'

Amanda Christopher

Amanda Christopher is a graduate of Hollins University and Virginia Commonwealth University. A native of the DC metro area, Amanda worked in public relations for the American Red Cross before joining the Virginia Community College System as the Workforce Communications Coordinator.

1 Comment

  1. ?

    Prasad @ Employment Portal

    Hi Amanda, thanks for sharing this informative content. I think this type of training programs are really useful for organization to get best employees and candidate could also get guidelines to be more employable.


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