HII celebrates 170 apprentice school graduates in

NEWPORT NEWS, Va., March 12, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Global engineering and defense technology provider HII (NYSE:HII) today held kick-off exercises for 170 apprenticeship school graduates of the company at Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS). The ceremony took place at Liberty Live Church in Hampton.

Newport News Shipbuilding President Jennifer Boykin opened the event by addressing the graduates as new shipyard leaders. “I want you to know how proud I am of each of you for all that you have accomplished,” Boykin said. “Today is just the next step in your leadership role at Newport News Shipbuilding, and we and our country need you more than ever. As shipbuilders, we have the truly unique honor of building ships that protect our country and are in danger.

The keynote address was delivered by Karen Henneberger, program manager for new ship design at Naval Reactors, a joint program of the Department of Energy and the Department of the Navy. She told graduates at the heart of The Apprentice School and their development is craftsmanship, leadership and scholarship. During her keynote, she offered an in-depth Naval Reactors perspective on each of these principles as they relate to current graduate responsibilities at Newport News Shipbuilding and their impact beyond the shipyard gates.

Like Boykin, Henneberger pointed out that the Navy needed shipbuilders.

Henneberger said, “We need shipbuilders more than ever. We must find ways to put more ships to sea, maintain our nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers more efficiently, and deploy innovative capabilities.

Additionally, she encouraged graduates, “Think about safety in everything you do, your safety and that of your fellow shipbuilders…Think about quality, it’s important. We need you to be an expert in your craft and remember the tools of your trade as you climb the ranks. Model the high level of quality for the first time that we need every shipyard worker to adopt. »

Henneberger also added a fourth principle on relationships. Specifically, she highlighted the relationship between Naval Reactors and NNS, describing it as complex and as a regulator and partner. She said: “It is our responsibility to ensure that the various facets of our program meet the requirements. We state the facts without emotion to emphasize that the members of our program solve problems and face the facts with brutality.

Speaking next, and in apprentice school tradition, the apprentice received the Homer L. Ferguson Award, which awards the graduate with the highest honors. This year it was Christopher S. Rose, a deck electrician who started his career in 2017 at NNS. He has supported various projects in the Virginia-class program, as well as the Nimitz-class and Ford-class programs, and currently working on USS george washington (CVN 73).

In his remarks to graduates, Rose reflected on the first piece of advice he received on his first day at the shipyard, “always watch where you are stepping.” He shared that it seemed like basic advice at the time, but it has since become essential in helping him formulate his thoughts to overcome challenges.

“Always watch your step, plan where you’re going, and put the journey ahead of the destination,” Rose said. “No matter what you do, the most important step is this. Once you know what you need to do, it’s just a matter of logistics.

At the end of the event, Boykin reminded the graduates of what they had heard during the ceremony. She said: “Your vital role in defending our nation cannot be underestimated. The Navy relies on us to provide capable and reliable ships that help keep our sailors safe. And I count on you to bring your skills, experience, knowledge and heart to every challenge you face. So always do your best. Never settle for good and always keep learning. If you do this, I know our nation’s future will be safer and brighter.

Here is the promotion profile:

  • 50 completed an optional advanced program, earning an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. The program includes courses in subjects such as marine design, production planning, modeling and simulation, and marine engineering.
  • 93 honors earned, a combination of academic and craft grades that determine overall performance.
  • 8 have completed the Advanced Shipyard Operations Program, allowing them to continue their post-secondary education, broaden their experience in shoreline operations, and develop leadership skills to improve the quality and efficiency of production, manufacturing processes and maintenance.
  • 48 completed Frontline FAST, an accelerated training program for prospective foremen.
  • 24 inducted into the National Society of Leadership Success.
  • 28 has completed the World Class Shipbuilder Curriculum and advanced the elective program with a perfect grade point average of 4.0.
  • 16 are military veterans or are currently serving in the armed forces as reservists and guardsmen, representing all branches of the military.
  • 8 won sports awards.

The apprentice school welcomes more than 200 apprentices per year. The school offers four to eight year free apprenticeship programs in 19 trades and eight optional advanced programs. Apprentices work 40 hours a week and are paid for all work, including time spent in university courses.

Through partnerships with Thomas Nelson Community College, Tidewater Community College, and Old Dominion University, The Apprentice School’s academic program offers the opportunity to earn associate degrees in business administration, engineering, and engineering and technology. bachelor’s degrees in mechanical or electrical engineering.

The photos accompanying this press release are available at:

The broadcast of the ceremony will be available on:

HII is a global engineering and defense technology provider. With a 135-year history of trusted partnerships in advancing America’s national security, HII delivers critical capabilities ranging from the most powerful and resilient warships ever built to unmanned systems, ISR and AI analytics. /ML. HII is the industry leader in mission-driven solutions that support and enable networked strength across all domains. Based in Virginia, HII’s skilled workforce numbers 44,000. For more information visit:

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