PHILADELPHIA - Senior U.S. Navy leaders joined partners from the Department of Defense, industry, and academia in the formal Signing Day Ceremony of the Pennsylvania Talent Pipeline Project, a program that aims to reinvigorate the defense trade skills workforce across Philadelphia and the surrounding region, May 25.
In May 2021, the Navy, in partnership with the Office of the Secretary of Defense Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment program, launched an initiative to engage and energize the greater Philadelphia defense industrial base by creating maritime-focused manufacturing talent pipelines. These efforts aim to recapitalize the defense workforce and address critical trade skill gaps across the maritime and defense ecosystems, including the Navy, Coast Guard, and Maritime Administration. For instance, across the Pennsylvania’s maritime ecosystem, there is a significant demand for critical trade skills including welders, machinists, metal fabricators, electricians, ship fitters, and quality assurance.
“It is no accident that re-capitalizing our strategic ballistic missile submarines is the number one priority of the United States Navy,” said Frederick Stefany, Principal Civilian Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy. “The graduates of this program have opportunities to be a part of that amazing effort, to build the next generation, to build the next 50 to 60 years of ballistic missile submarines.”
The signing ceremony formally recognized the commitment of 29 defense employers in southeastern Pennsylvania to hire and retain more than 200 new workforce members into mission-critical careers.
“I am most satisfied and gratified by the young men and women who are going to cross this stage,” said Rear Adm. Scott Pappano. “They are critical to the national defense of this nation … [Working for] a shipbuilding manufacturing industrial base [partner] for the United States [is] as important as anything that a soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine does at the pointy end of our nation's spear.”
The U.S. Navy and the Department of Defense have more than $300 billion planned for investments in new submarines, aircraft carriers, and ships over the next several decades. Pennsylvania is a center of gravity for these shipbuilding and ship sustainment programs, with several hundred defense industry partners across the region. The state also has more critical submarine and aircraft carrier suppliers than any other state in the country.
The Pennsylvania Talent Pipeline Project is working to strengthen the trade skills workforce through recruiting, hiring, training, and retaining next generation workforce members who are mission critical to building the submarines, ships, and systems the Navy needs.
“This is the way … this has to work. This program, and the partnerships it has created are the foundation of how we get there,” shared Matt Sermon, Executive Director, Strategic Submarines. These next generation workforce members are going into skilled, sustainable, high paying jobs, and they will be directly supporting the Navy’s crucial mission, stated Sermon.
"I am thrilled to hear that dozens of Philadelphia CTE graduates will be starting their careers at local manufacturing businesses, thanks to the Navy's Talent Pipeline Program,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Programs like this one are essential to creating quality jobs, strengthening our local manufacturing businesses, and growing our future economy."
For more information visit: Pennsylvania Pipeline Project - Philly (defenseindustrialworkforcepipeline.com)