JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii – Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PHNSY & IMF) welcomed the largest class of apprentice program graduates in its history on August 15, 2019. U.S. Rep. Ed Case, Hawaii First Congressional District, was the keynote speaker welcoming 278 new journey-workers to the workforce at Kilo Pier 8 on Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam.
In delivering his address, Case noted the significance of the shipyard’s contribution to the nation’s security. He highlighted the importance of upgrading the shipyard infrastructure to keep the fleet “fit to fight.”
“You will be writing history. Your country is depending on you,” said the representative. “The quality, dependability, and integrity [of the workers] makes this shipyard indispensable.”
Capt. Greg Burton, shipyard commander, also congratulated the newest journey-workers, and reminded them of their important work.
“I can sense the energy here today, especially coming from your loved ones, who are extremely proud of you and what you have accomplished and what you will accomplish in support of our national security.”
The shipyard commander continued, “You create a positive and lasting difference for our ships and submarines and for our sailors who sail into harm’s way around the world, 24/7, 365 days a year,” he said. “Your work is absolutely critical at a time when the world is changing rapidly.”
The graduates, representing 22 shops and 18 trades, completed four-year, full-time, paid apprenticeships that combined academic study with on-the-job training. They earned associate’s degrees from Honolulu Community College as well as certification in their respective trades from the Navy and U.S. Department of Labor. Graduates now transition to mechanic or journey-worker status in shipyard jobs that pay an average of approximately $32 an hour.
Apprentice graduate and pipefitter Fathima Lau, spoke on behalf of the 2019 class.
“I am so proud we all made it,” Lau said, “We made history as the largest apprentice class at Pearl Harbor. We left our mark. We left our legacy.”
For nearly 100 years, the shipyard’s apprentice program has developed skilled journey workers and produced future leaders.
PHNSY & IMF’s Apprentice Program provides an opportunity to gain in depth knowledge, hands on experience, and prepares students to continuously keep the PHNSY “Nō Ka ‘Oi.”
PHNSY & IMF is a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command and a one-stop regional maintenance center for the Navy’s surface ships and submarines. It is the largest industrial employer in the state of Hawaii, with a combined civilian and military workforce of approximately 6,000. It is the most comprehensive fleet repair and maintenance facility between the U.S. West Coast and the Far East, strategically located in the heart of the Pacific, being about a week’s steaming time closer to potential regional contingencies in East Asia.
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