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NEWS | Nov. 25, 2020

Talking Shop: Shop 71 – Sign Shop

By Troy Miller, Public Affairs Specialist

Ensuring safety and instilling pride are just two of the ways Norfolk Naval Shipyard’s (NNSY) Sign Shop (Shop 71) benefits the workforce.

“We work closely with the various departments creating danger signs, caution signs and any other type of signs that are required,” said Preservation Shop (Shop 71) Zone Manager Tracy Robinson. “Just the thought of the idea of someone not getting hurt because our signs helped prevent that makes us realize how important our job actually is.”

Safety signs aren’t the only signs they make. The Sign Shop, with help from the Sail Loft, makes banners for the shipyard, submarines, and carriers that are being repaired at NNSY.

“We make the banners that have the ship’s name, logo and motto on them and they hang across the brow,” said Shop 71 Preservation Supervisor Tanya Sparrow. “We also make the banners used during the annual Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), as well as for the various groups and organizations located at NNSY.”

“We work closely with the Wood Crafting Shop (Shop 64) on the banners supporting the Big Rock ceremonies and all other major events,” said Robinson.

In addition to signs and banners, the sign shop personnel also make stickers, decals, graphic designs and parking signs, along with any other task given to them. They can do screen-printing on cloth material as well as paint and label hardhats. Not bad for a group of employees who were not originally trained to work in the sign shop.

“For medical reasons, all of us who work in the sign shop are unable to work on the waterfront,” said Shop 64 Painter Torrence Rabb. “This is a way for us to still contribute to NNSY’s mission of getting ships back to the fleet on time.”

Due to quick turnaround and high demand, the crew in the sign shop learned to set high standards, utilize their time wisely, and work together as a team.

“There is an existence of pride in the employees and they are committed to producing high quality products out of the sign shop,” said Preservation Group Superintendent Brian Darden. “The work comes in phases and the team remains flexible to ensure they maintain an ‘all hands on deck’ mentality to accomplish the work.”

With their dedication, hard work and pride, the sign shop will continue to strive to do their part with high quality standards to help support Norfolk Naval Shipyard. “Any ship, anytime, anywhere,” said Robinson. “That’s what it’s all about.”