Governor Northam announces $ 5 million grant to train shipbuilding workers for the US Navy
RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) – Virginia has received a $ 5 million grant from the Department of Defense to train workers for the Virginia defense manufacturing industries in Danville and Hampton Roads.
Governor Ralph Northam announced Friday that the grant will fund the Virginia Defense Manufacturing Community, which includes the Institute of Advanced Learning and Research in South Virginia, and Old Dominion University Marine Industrial Base Ecosystem.
According to a recent statement, the $ 5 million grant will create a K-12 training pipeline, helping students develop the skills needed for jobs in defense manufacturing industries. The grant will also ensure that Virginia has the number of workers necessary to meet the needs of the industry.
Virginia officials say the training pipeline will increase manufacturing capacity, capacity, resilience and diversity in the field.
“Virginia is a recognized leader in defense manufacturing,” said Northam, “this revolutionary partnership will help diversify and modernize the nation’s best maritime workforce to build and maintain the world’s best navy, while providing young people with a route to accomplishing jobs in a high-tech, well-paid industry.
The project plans to create a community college-university pathway in manufacturing engineering technology that awards credentials to manufacturing engineers.
Students will be introduced to manufacturing workforce opportunities in elementary school. As they age, they will have access to a more advanced program of study related to their preferred field of manufacturing and employment opportunities at the high school, college and university levels.
“We aim to integrate Kindergarten to Grade 12, community college and university programs with cutting-edge training resources to provide the strongest, most diverse and most adaptable manufacturing workforce,” said Mark Gignac, executive director of the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research.
The grant will be invested over the years 2022 and 2023.
Virginia has a strong military presence, particularly in areas of Norfolk, which makes it suitable for Department of Defense funding.