The Mississippi Department of Labor has approved an apprenticeship program between VT Halter Marine and the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.
The two organizations will conduct an official signing ceremony at 11 a.m. Friday, March 6, at the VT Halter Marine shipyard, 900 Bayou Casotte Parkway in Pascagoula.
Launching in August, the program will offer training in the craft labor fields of welding, ship fitting, pipe fitting, pipe welding and electrical. The apprenticeship program will designed in three modules: on-the-job training, classroom training and a progressive wage increase as participants reach set milestones. Apprentices will be assigned to VT Halter Marine employee mentors to guide them throughout the program.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “Apprenticeship is an industry-driven, high-quality career pathway where employers can develop and prepare their future workforce, and individuals can obtain paid work experience, classroom instruction, and a portable, nationally recognized credential.”
Growing our own workforce is the main driver for creating an apprenticeship program, said VT Halter Marine President and CEO Ron Baczkowski.
“Companies that invest in apprenticeship programs benefit from the real advantage of a custom trained, highly skilled workforce,” Baczkowski said. “These employees are then keenly trained and ready to work in the ever-evolving field of shipbuilding.”