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NEWS | Feb. 1, 2024

NSWC Crane employee looks to inspire fellow employees through workforce development

By Emily Gray, NSWC Crane Corporate Communications

CRANE, Ind. – Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) employee Alphonso Cook looks to inspire fellow employees by creating opportunities for others though his work in Workforce Development as a Crane Division University (CDU) Facilitator.

“I am one of two full time facilitators. I facilitate leadership courses that include Leading from Within, Leading the Way, Project Leadership, Leadership Challenge, and Speed of Trust. I try to encourage employees on a personal level as well,” said Cook.

Cook grew up in Louisville, Kentucky and was introduced to NSWC Crane through the engineering program at the University of Louisville, where he completed three semesters of co-op education. According to the University of Louisville’s website co-op education is an “academic program integrating classroom learning with work experience in the student’s field of study.” Once completing their co-op program, students will already have a year of work experience by the time they graduate.

“I interviewed with a few companies and I found Crane to be the most interesting since I planned to serve in the US Army. Crane offered me the co-op and then offered me a permanent position while I served in the Army,” said Cook.

Cook has worked at NSWC Crane for almost 35 years and throughout that time has held various roles. He began his career as a test engineer in the Infrared/Radio Frequency Division and is currently working in Workforce Development. Along with his duties in Workforce Development, Cook also assists with onboarding new employees by explaining Morning Colors and NSWC Crane’s history.

“My current job is the development of our employees. It is giving employees the tools and encouragement to move forward in their careers and to move forward in life. This development in turn helps NSWC Crane to meet its mission to support our service members that are defending our nation and our values,” said Cook.

He believes that the work at NSWC Crane will have a lasting impact on service members that the command supports.

“NSWC Crane is making an impact around the world with innovation and technology. I have been a part of supplying direct solutions to sailors onboard ships facing potential attacks. Our service members face enemies daily that are not afraid to strike us,” said Cook.

Aside from his decades-long career at NSWC Crane, Cook is also a proud father and car enthusiast.

“I am happy to have been blessed with two children that are making their way in life. My daughter is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and an officer in the US Army. My son is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and is making an impact in his field of African Studies,” said Cook.

Cook also enjoys spending time with his extended family. They often use this time as a time to reflect on their family history and the lessons that have been passed down through the generations.

“I am from a family of go-getters. We live in a world that is often unfair, and sometimes the unprepared and minorities are bypassed. When my family gets together, we may discuss our problems but the overwhelming vibe is one of encouragement and positivity. We have four generations that sit together and as we spend time with each other, we constantly remind each other of what our grandparents taught us. They made their way in a world that was segregated by law, yet they succeeded. I think it is very important that we take full advantage of opportunities that we create or that present themselves to us,” said Cook.

Offering advice to new employees at NSWC Crane, Cook recommends taking all the opportunities that will come their way due to the unique prospects for both personal and professional growth.

“Take all the jobs as they come and get your hands dirty (literally and figuratively). In my opinion that is the best way to learn and gain experience. Theoretical discussions about what does and does not work are necessary, but people that can talk to the realities and experiences they bring to the table are much more likely to be heard,” said Cook.

About NSWC Crane | NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electromagnetic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today's Warfighter.

Join Our Team! NAVSEA employs a diverse, highly trained, educated, and skilled workforce - from students and entry level employees to experienced professionals and individuals with disabilities. We support today's sophisticated Navy and Marine Corps ships, aircraft, weapon systems and computer systems. We are continuously looking for engineers, scientists, IT and cyber specialists, as well as trade and other support professionals to ensure the U.S. Navy can protect and defend America. Please contact NSWC Crane Human Resources at