PASCAGOULA, Miss., June 8, 2010 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) hosted groundbreaking ceremonies for the new Jackson County (Miss.) Maritime Trades Academy here today with state and local officials participating.
"The shipbuilding academy will help find new workers and upgrade the skills of current workers for our shipbuilders on the Coast and for our energy industry," said Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour. "This and future generations will be able to rely on the shipbuilding academy to help preserve and grow the Coast's shipbuilding base and ensure there is a skilled workforce to fill local jobs."
A $20 million HUD community development block grant was awarded by the state of Mississippi in August 2009 to build the academy. The Jackson County Board of Supervisors and the Jackson County Port Authority both approved and signed a memorandum of agreement for the facility in April.
"This new facility will have the capacity to accommodate 1,000 apprentices," said Mike Petters, corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding. "That's 1,000 opportunities to create a strong and well-trained workforce here in Southern Mississippi. Clearly this Maritime Trades Academy is an investment -- not only in the ships that protect our way of life and the people who build those ships -- but in the livelihood and the future of the Gulf Coast."
Northrop Grumman will continue to partner with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community college to grow what is already a long-standing apprentice school on the Gulf Coast. This latest investment will enable the program to grow from its current 610 students to accommodate 1,000 apprentices.
"This $20 million facility for which we break ground today will not only enable Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding to train a new generation of shipbuilders to meet the future demand of our Navy and Coast Guard, but it will also be a capstone of educational excellence in Pascagoula," said Robbie Maxwell, mayor, city of Pascagoula. "I want to thank this shipyard, its leadership and the men and women who build freedom here every day. Even though this is a ceremonial groundbreaking, it marks a milestone in a process that began two years ago, when Governor Barbour welcomed this new leadership team to our shipyard with a solemn pledge to do all he can do to make us successful."
The new academy will have classrooms for academic and vocational classes, a trade wing with additional nine classrooms to adjoining labs for various crafts, as well as computer labs and a high-bay multi-purpose room that can be used for crane training, assemblies and other large-gathering events.
"I'd like to congratulate the Northrop Grumman team for the vision they had to be able to relate this project to the governor," said Mike Mangum, President, Jackson County Board of Supervisors. "And I'd like to thank the governor and the Mississippi Development Authority team for realizing what this means to Jackson County and the state of Mississippi in supporting this project."
The Northrop Grumman Apprentice School has provided high quality, comprehensive two to four-year apprentice programs for students interested in shipbuilding careers. Since 1952, the Apprentice School has produced more than 4,000 graduates with over 430 of those graduates currently working at Northrop Grumman in 50 different types of jobs from pipe welders to senior executives. To learn more about the Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding-Gulf Coast apprentice school, visit: www.apprenticeschool.com/gc .
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.
CONTACT: Bill Glenn Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding (228) 327-1671 firstname.lastname@example.org