The Apprentice School - Newport News Shipbuilding SpotLight

Posted by Chad Aleshire - On October 09, 2012 (EST)

As we kick off week seven of our Trailblazer and Innovator SpotLight series, we highlight one of the country’s premier apprenticeship programs: The Apprentice School located at Newport News Shipbuilding.  The Apprentice School, focusing on “Craftsmanship, Scholarship and Leadership,” trains apprentices in 19 shipbuilding trades and seven optional advanced programs including cost estimation, nuclear test technician, modeling and simulation and dimensional control.

Established in 1919, The Apprentice School is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Council on Occupational Education.  The program includes an on-site school, and currently has a new educational campus under construction with completion scheduled for the last quarter of 2013.  The school offers approximately 800 apprentices a tuition-free opportunity to earn an associate’s degree in business or engineering as they prepare for exciting careers, building and maintaining nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines for the U.S. Navy.  All textbooks are provided and they even offer the opportunity to participate in six Division III collegiate sports, Drum line, Cheer team, Student Government, Jaycees, and two professional societies.  Known as the Apprentice School Builders, the program has won national small college championships in men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, and wrestling. 

Newport News Shipbuilding truly grows their own, as two current vice presidents and approximately 50 percent of the waterfront management team are graduates of The Apprentice School.  They offer apprentices a four or five year apprenticeship with opportunities to succeed in both academics and craft performance.  Apprentices receive on-the-job learning and trade theory instruction during multiple job rotations in various areas throughout the shipyard as they prepare for career advancement opportunities throughout the company of 22,000 employees.

The Apprentice School was recently recognized as a Trailblazer and Innovator Registered Apprenticeship program, one of approximately 70 programs identified throughout the nation as those which embody the 21st Century Vision for Apprenticeship.  Everett H. Jordan Jr., an Apprentice School graduate and Director of Education for the Apprentice School and Training Managers Jim Hughes and Dan Brookman, another Apprentice grad, joined Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and Apprenticeship Administrator John V. Ladd as they presented the program a Certificate of Recognition.

Speaking on the opportunities The Apprentice School offers, Mr. Jordan said the following:

”Having apprentices on record since 1894, the aspect of learning through apprenticeship at Newport News Shipbuilding is ingrained in our company and in our culture. The focus on craftsmanship, scholarship and leadership, offers Apprentice School students an opportunity to learn one of 26 different crafts in a complex manufacturing environment while attaining academic success in rigorous curricula."

For more on The Apprentice School, we encourage you to download and share The Apprentice School Trailblazer and Innovator Fact Sheet.  Also, for more on the Apprenticeship opportunities available at The Apprentice School, please visit:

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Modified On : October 10, 2012
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