NNS Supports SCA Welding Education Program

By George Backwell
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Welder at work: File photo

Huntington Ingalls Industries informs that its Newport News Shipbuilding division has donated training materials to the Southern Carolina Regional Development Alliance (SCA) for a welding program in Allendale County, S.C.

The SCA's Advanced Manufacturing Skills Training Program has already provided 47 students with welding training. The SCA is now working to expand the program by implementing curricula developed and used by Newport News Shipbuilding. In addition to the training materials presented to the SCA today, a shipyard welding instructor will work with the training facility to implement the curricula.

"Newport News Shipbuilding has found that by working closely and sharing some of our training materials with local community colleges and technical schools, we create a richer pipeline of talent applying for career opportunities with our company," said Bill Docalovich, Newport News' director of trades services.

Going beyond basic instruction, the curricula supplied by Newport News includes computer-based training followed by hands-on practice led by facility instructors. The instructors will have the opportunity to learn Newport News' instructional style and use it with their students. With Newport News' influence, the students will develop the skills necessary for welding in the manufacturing industry.

Newport News opened a field office in Aiken, S.C., in January as part of its continuing efforts to expand the company's business in the Department of Energy and commercial energy markets. The office focuses on marketing professional services to the Savannah River Site as well as the regional commercial nuclear industry and is capable of providing any skill-set necessary to design, plan, construct and test large, complex nuclear projects.

Jill O'Donnell, Newport News' manager of nuclear engineering projects, who oversees the Aiken office, said the curricula donation demonstrates the company's commitment to the community. "Since opening the office, we have looked for ways to invest in workforce development in this region," she said. "The Advanced Manufacturing Skills Training Program is a great fit for the type of expertise we can contribute, and we look forward to continuing to work with the SCA and the counties they serve."

Danny Black, president and CEO of SCA, added, "Several recent professional studies have indicated the need for thousands of welders and pipefitters in the Carolinas and Georgia over the next five to 10 years. With assistance from Newport News, the facility's welding program will help prepare the next generation of welders meet this growing need."
 

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