Largest class to graduate Austal’s Apprenticeship Program
Austal USA honored graduates of Austal’s cutting-edge four-year apprenticeship program with a banquet at the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center in Mobile, Alabama. The 38 graduates received their certificates of completion and designation as Department of Labor Class A Journeymen. They were joined by their supervisors, instructors and many of Austal USA’s executive and human resources staff in celebrating this momentous occasion. The graduating class consisted of 8 electrical journeymen, 6 fitout journeymen, 10 pipe fitting journeymen, and 13 fabrication journeymen.
Special recognition went to Ross Latapie, as the class valedictorian. Mr. Latapie’s untimely passing earlier this year inspired program leadership to rename the valedictorian award the “Ross Latapie Award of Excellence”. Austal’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Joe Rella, presented the award to Ross’s wife, daughter and father who were in attendance at the banquet. Mr. Rella spoke of Ross’s inspiration to future apprentices by saying, “The Latin term Altus Tendo, meaning I reach high, truly describes Ross Latapie. He worked tirelessly to increase his knowledge of the electrician trade by completing extra classroom and laboratory assignments from his instructors. He currently holds the highest Austal USA apprenticeship academic GPA of 4.0. Ross provides a great example of professionalism for future apprentices to follow.”
Austal’s apprenticeship program is certified by the U.S. Department of Labor, Alabama Department of Post Secondary Education, and the Veteran's Administration. It is governed by the Department of Labor Standards of Apprenticeship for the respective trades of Pipefitter, Marine Electrician, Fabricator, and Fitout. The Alabama Department of Post Secondary Education has approved our four trade programs for the Veteran's Administration which means that all eligible veterans may now apply for and receive GI Bill benefits that were earned for military service. The Department of Labor requires that each candidate complete a minimum of 576 hours of classroom time and an additional 8,000 hours of on-the-job-learning over the four-year period. For more information about Austal’s recruiting efforts, visit www.austaljobs.com.
Austal is currently under contract with the U.S. Navy, to build 11 Independence-Variant, Littoral Combat Ship Class vessels. The second ship of this class, Coronado (LCS 4), is under construction in the final assembly bay and scheduled for launch in late September. Austal recently celebrated the cutting of metal on Jackson (LCS 6).
Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) Spearhead (JHSV 1) will be Christened on September 17. Construction is well underway on the modules for Vigilant (JHSV 2) in Austal’s Module Manufacturing Facility (MMF). The U.S. Navy has also awarded Austal construction contracts on JHSV 3 through 7, with another three (3) JHSV construction options to be exercised as Congress authorizes and appropriates funding annually for the Navy in accordance with their scheduled plan. This is a U.S. Navy shipbuilding program worth over US$1.6 billion.