NEW ORLEANS, May 14, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) announced today that it has received approval from the state of Louisiana for the company's first-ever sanctioned Apprentice Program at the Avondale Operations of its Ship Systems sector.
Avondale's apprenticeship program meets state-approved standards for apprentice programs by combining on-the-job training at the shipyard with classroom work. Initially, the apprentice program will focus on four major crafts for recruiting -- shipfitters, welders, electricians and pipefitters. Eleven different crafts are included in the two- to four-year program. During that time, apprentices would receive a pay raise every 500 hours based on work in the field and maintaining good grades.
Any person can apply for the apprenticeship program providing he or she meets all the educational requirements. Avondale's goal is to have 300 production employees enrolled in the Apprentice Program by the end of the year.
"I believe the state's approval of an apprenticeship program at Avondale moves us into a new stage of our advancement as a shipyard that clearly focuses on developing the strength of our workforce," said Avondale Operations Vice President George Yount.
Louisiana's Department of Labor, through its Apprentice division, approved Avondale's apprenticeship program following a three-month review of the shipyard's training curriculum. Avondale implemented an apprentice program earlier this year following the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement last December between Avondale Operations and the New Orleans Metal Trades Council to establish the apprenticeship program.
"The New Orleans Metal Trades Council is excited and pleased to receive approval of this historic program," said New Orleans Metal Trades Council Vice President Doug Howard. "We are now looking forward to expanding the program to additional crafts."
The apprenticeship program rounds out Avondale's training efforts -- an aggressive on-the-job training program, blueprint reading courses and enhanced training at local vocational-technical schools.
"With the assistance from the state of Louisiana, the involvement of the local community and technical schools, and the active and continued support of union leadership, we have been able to bring this new career path to fruition," said Ship Systems Human Resources Vice President Ann Fortenberry.
For more information regarding Avondale's state-approved apprentice program, contact Avondale Training Specialist Erroll Rodrigue at (504) 436-5436 or Avondale's Employment Center at (504) 436-4262.
Northrop Grumman's Ship Systems includes primary operations in Pascagoula and Gulfport, Miss.; New Orleans and Tallulah, La.; as well as a network of fleet support offices in the U.S. and Japan. The sector, which currently employs more than 18,000 shipbuilding professionals, primarily in Mississippi and Louisiana, is one of the nation's leading full service systems companies for the design, engineering, construction, and life cycle support of major surface ships for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and international navies.
CONTACT: Ed Winter Northrop Grumman Ship Systems (504) 436-5253