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NEWS | Feb. 5, 2024

21 Southwest Regional Apprentice Program graduates receive certificates of completion

By PSNS & IMF Public Affairs

Students from Fleet Readiness Center Southwest, Southwest Regional Maintenance Center and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Detachment San Diego were celebrated Jan. 18, 2024, during a graduation ceremony at Southwestern College, in Chula Vista, Calif., in honor of their successful completion of the Southwest Regional Apprentice Program.

Twenty one graduates walked the stage to receive their degrees from representatives from their respective commands.

The 2023 Scholastic Achievement Award was presented to Alex Abrantes, electronic tech mechanic, PNSY, for maintaining a 4.0 grade point average. Steven Tomika, machinist, SWRMC, was selected as Apprentice of the Year. Charles Beyrodt, pipe fitter, PNSY, was voted byh his classmates to be the class speaker for the graduation ceremony.

In his remarks, Beyrodt reflected on the journey he and classmates went through as they completed the program and what they have taken away from it.

“This day is the manifestation of unwavering commitment to our tasks, dedication of our time, relentless determination to comprehend new concepts and curriculum, and the courage to persevere no matter how daunting or uncertain the path forward might be,” said Beyrodt.

Among this year's graduating class were students trained as machinists, marine machinery mechanics, marine pipefitters, & electronic tech mechanics.

The featured speaker for the event was Capt. Michael Oberdorf, commander, PNSY. In his remarks, he challenged the graduates to continue to grow their knowledge base.

“This is a demanding, yet rewarding, career path you’ve chosen,” said Oberdorf. “You will dedicate countless hours to master your craft. As you progress in your career, be courageous and aim high. Challenge yourselves to pursue new and improved ways to more efficiently and effectively refine our processes. If we fall short, learn, come back smarter than before and adjust the plan for success.”

In addition to the graduates, Allan Schott, supervisor production workforce specialist, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility, was the first inductee into the San Diego Apprentice program’s Hall of Fame for his many contributions to the program.