Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) hosted groundbreaking ceremonies for the new Jackson County (Miss.) Maritime Trades Academy on June 8 with state and local officials participating.
"The shipbuilding academy will help find new workers and upgrade the skills of current workers for our shipbuilders on the Coast and for our energy industry," said Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour. "This and future generations will be able to rely on the shipbuilding academy to help preserve and grow the Coast's shipbuilding base and ensure there is a skilled workforce to fill local jobs."
A $20m HUD community development block grant was awarded by the state of Mississippi in August 2009 to build the academy. The Jackson County Board of Supervisors and the Jackson County Port Authority both approved and signed a memorandum of agreement for the facility in April.
"This new facility will have the capacity to accommodate 1,000 apprentices," said Mike Petters, corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding.
Northrop Grumman will continue to partner with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community college to grow what is already a long-standing apprentice school on the Gulf Coast. This latest investment will enable the program to grow from its current 610 students to accommodate 1,000 apprentices.
The new academy will have classrooms for academic and vocational classes, a trade wing with additional nine classrooms to adjoining labs for various crafts, as well as computer labs and a high-bay multi-purpose room that can be used for crane training, assemblies and other large-gathering events.