“Hard Stuff Done Right” applies to everything we do at Huntington Ingalls Industries, including workforce development.
We believe businesses share in the responsibility of developing a skilled workforce, so we invest more than $110 million a year in workforce development, education and training initiatives—from the apprentice schools at our Newport News and Ingalls Shipbuilding divisions … to academic partnerships with two- and four-year colleges and universities … to STEM investments in elementary, middle and high schools. HII even makes long game investments in early childhood education.
Investing in a Skilled Workforce
HII’s divisions are engaged in a wide range of workforce development efforts — from Newport News Shipbuilding’s support of the Maritime Industrial Base Ecosystem and the Virginia Digital Shipbuilding Workforce Program, to Ingalls Shipbuilding’s Talent Development Labs and Shipbuilder Academy, to Technical Solutions’ partnerships with the U.S. Navy’s Fleet & Family Support Centers in Virginia.
Talent Development Labs
Ingalls Shipbuilding’s Talent Development Labs — a partnership with high schools in Mississippi and Alabama — are another example of how the division is developing the shipbuilders of the future.
“The talent labs are transforming our communities by allowing us to show students what are the careers that are available and the options that are out there for them if they want to remain here in the community,” said Edmond Hughes, Ingalls’ vice president, Human Resources and Administration.
The HII Scholarship Fund provides early childhood readiness and post-secondary scholarships for children of HII employees. It was established in 2016 and is funded primarily by HII President and CEO Mike Petters, who declines all but $1 of his annual salary. Since its establishment, the fund has awarded or renewed 980 scholarships totaling more than $2 million, providing education opportunities to 550 students.
Training and Apprenticeships
The cornerstone of HII’s workforce development strategy is our apprenticeship program, which offers tuition-free training in a wide variety of shipbuilding disciplines, from welding and rigging to dimensional control and nuclear testing.
The Apprentice School at HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division in Virginia was established in 1919 and currently offers four- to eight-year apprenticeships in 19 trades and eight optional advanced programs, including Marine Engineering (Bachelor’s Degree).
Likewise, the Apprentice School at HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division in Mississippi was founded in 1952 and currently offers two- to four-year apprenticeships in 13 trades. Both schools are focused on three “ships”: craftsmanship, scholarship and leadership.
HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division is transforming workforce development with its Signing Day and Future Shipbuilder Discovery Day initiatives. Since 2016, Ingalls Shipbuilder Academy has helped fill the industry skills gap by providing students across the region with a strong foundation in the maritime industry. More than 200 students have successfully completed the program and more than 100 have accepted job offers at Ingalls to date.
HII also has more than 30 senior leaders actively engaged in national, state and local organizations focused on workforce development, including the Aerospace Industries Association’s Workforce Council, the American Apprenticeship Round Table, the National Maritime Education Council, the Virginia Workforce Council and Mississippi’s State Workforce Investment Board.
Workforce Development in the News
- “Huntington Ingalls opening unmanned systems center in Hampton, bringing more than 250 jobs with it,” 13NewsNow, Sept. 22, 2020
- “Huntington Ingalls Industries Helping Virginians Get Back to Work,” MarineLink, July 16, 2020
- “Apprenticeship programs could help solve labor market woes,” MarketPlace, Feb. 25, 2020
- ‘Hard Stuff Done Right’: The Apprentice Schools at Huntington Ingalls Industries, Gallup.com, Sept. 3, 2019
- “Huntington Ingalls expands efforts to hire veterans and their families,” 13 News Now, Jan. 17, 2019
- “Helping to craft a future workforce,” The Virginian-Pilot, Oct. 28, 2018
- “Ingalls opens talent development lab at Moss Point High School,” The Mississippi Press, Sept. 26, 2018
HII President and CEO Mike Petters is a nationally recognized thought leader on workforce development—specifically on the subject of early childhood education and its implications for national security.
- Speech: Keynote address on healthcare to the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Oct. 7, 2020
- Television Appearance: “People Helping People: HII President And CEO Featured On The Today Show,” Nov. 21, 2019
- Op-ed: Preschool education is absolutely vital to America’s security, Newsday, Feb. 27, 2019
- Speech: “Annual Business Luncheon at Tougaloo College,” Feb. 22, 2019
- Speech: Virginia FREE Annual Luncheon, Dec. 18, 2018
- HII Talking Points Podcast: Early Childhood Education, June 12, 2018
- Speech: “The Case for Career and Technical Education Symposium,” April 23, 2018
- HII Talking Points Podcast: Workforce Development, Sept. 25, 2017
“Investing in Children Today—Ensuring a Quality Workforce Tomorrow,” April 22, 2015, by Bill Ermatinger
Workforce Development Resources
- The Apprentice School at Newport News Shipbuilding
- Ingalls Shipbuilding Apprentice School, housed at the Haley Barbour Reeves Maritime Academy
- Ingalls Shipbuilding Hosts “Signing Day” For Shipbuilder Academy Graduates. News release | Video
- Ingalls Shipbuilding Partnering With Local High Schools To Construct Talent Development Labs