PHILADELPHIA (Oct. 12, 2022) – More than 300 students, representing 21 different schools from the greater Philadelphia area, participated in the Pennsylvania Talent Pipeline Project’s 2nd Annual Maritime Welding Competition and Career Exploration Day at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Oct. 12.
In May 2021, the Navy – in partnership with the Office of the Secretary of Defense – launched the Pennsylvania Talent Pipeline Project to engage and energize the greater Philadelphia defense industrial base by creating a maritime-focused manufacturing talent pipeline in response to the Navy’s significant demand for critical trade skills.
“Our nation is facing a critical skilled-trade gap, and this collaborative effort is just what we need to raise awareness on these crucial opportunities here in the city of Philadelphia,” noted Philadelphia City Councilmember (At-Large) Kathryn Gilmore-Richardson. “I am incredibly excited to see us exposing our young people to high-quality careers in manufacturing as they prepare to enter the workforce.”
The competition, which was hosted by Philly Shipyard and run by Project MFG, saw 32 local competitors race against a 2-hour clock to weld miniature submarines, which were then pressure tested and scored.
“Events like today’s, with partners like we have here in the Philadelphia region, are absolutely critical to our ability to build and sustain ships, submarines and systems,” said Rear Adm. Scott Pappano, Program Executive Office, Strategic Submarines (PEO SSBN). “Getting next generation workforce members interested, excited, exposed to and motivated by our defense mission is at the top of the priority list. These young men and women are part of a ‘New Collar Workforce,’ where they have the ability to secure quality, family-sustaining careers and be a differentiator in our ability to innovate, implement, and execute faster and to greater effect than our adversaries.”
In parallel, 300 students going through area trade programs had an opportunity to talk to employers about their role in the defense industrial base and opportunities aligned to critical shipbuilding and ship sustainment trades. Program participants also had the chance to get experience and exposure through tours of Philly Shipyard, Inc., Philly Ship Repair, and Rhoads Industries.
“The Pennsylvania Talent Pipeline Project is investing in the next generation of our shipbuilding workforce by bringing together local businesses and schools with the Navy to showcase the fantastic job opportunities in our region’s shipbuilding industry,” said U.S. Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-5). “By aligning trade skill opportunities with critical workforce needs, this pipeline project provides young Pennsylvanians with rewarding careers, while contributing to our region’s economic development and our national security.”
For more information about the Pennsylvania Pipeline Project - Philly and other related opportunities in the mid-Atlantic region, visit defenseindustrialworkforcepipeline.com