Perhaps the most critical workforce development question in advanced manufacturing today is “where are the young people?” For years now, high school aged young people have chosen and are encouraged to choose college prep over Career Tech training. This is despite the fact that less than 20 percent of entry level careers require a bachelor’s degree. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015).
Shipbuilding is one of the oldest industries in the U.S., beginning with the colonial settlements, and the Maritime industry’s contributions to national defense go beyond just deploying and sustaining our troops, for without its contribution to the maritime sector of our national defense industrial base, the United States would not be the seapower it has been since the Second World War. Maintaining a strong industrial base supporting the seagoing elements of the U.S. Navy includes having the trained and experienced manpower necessary to crew the vessels and the skilled shipyard workers needed to build and repair Navy ships. Thus shipyard labor is a key element in the shipbuilding industry.
This pathway includes highly specialized career types such as welders, riggers, painters, sheet metal workers, and pipefitters.
The Shipbuilder Career Tech Program is a partnership among Gulf States Shipbuilding Consortium, Ingalls Shipbuilding, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Jackson County Technology Center, Pascagoula-Gautier School District, Ocean Springs School District, Alma Bryant High School and Moss Point High School.