ingalls apprentice 2018

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division hosted a graduation ceremony on Saturday for the company’s apprentice program. Many different crafts were represented among the 110 graduates of the 2018 class.

Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith delivered the keynote address, telling the graduates: “The success of our world-class shipbuilding programs is due to your professionalism and commitment to your craft and this country. I appreciate each and every person’s commitment to providing our warfighters with high-quality, dependable, world-class ships that will be used to defend our nation and its values. This is where all of you, as graduates, will play such an important role for our nation."

“I am committed to ensuring Mississippi’s industry partners remain competitive so we can preserve America’s national security superiority and our nation’s role as the world’s leader in commerce,” Hyde-Smith continued. “And, importantly, the jobs that make Mississippi families stronger and more secure.”

Since 1952, Ingalls’ Apprentice School has produced more than 5,000 graduates trained to fulfill the shipyard’s operational needs. The program offers a comprehensive two- to four-year curriculum, in partnership with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, for students interested in shipbuilding careers.

“As you go to work next week as an apprentice graduate, I would like to give you a challenge: Choose to make a difference,” said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. “Real leaders make the right decision when it’s hard and no one is looking. Anyone can make the right decision when it’s easy. As I look out across this room, I couldn’t be more encouraged on what our future holds. I couldn’t be more proud of each and every one of you. Don’t lose the momentum, because you are the future of Ingalls Shipbuilding, and what you do today and every day really does matter.”

More than 60 faculty and staff members deliver 15 programs and more than 120 course offerings to apprentices to gain not only the skills, knowledge and pride of workmanship, but also the educational foundation and personal qualities needed to fully meet the challenges of a shipbuilding career. Today more than 1,700 apprentice alumni fill approximately 50 different types of jobs at Ingalls, many in craft, with 850 alumni going on to management and professional roles throughout the shipyard.