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Women in Trades Employee Resource Group Explores Calibration Lab

By PSNS & IMF Public Affairs | Feb. 10, 2020


Under the bright blue awning of Building 661’s tunnel 3, thirteen members of PSNS & IMF’s Women in Trades employee resource group, a subcommittee of the shipyard’s Professional Women’s Employee Networking Group, ventured down into the converted bomb shelter to explore the precision work performed in the underground calibration lab, Jan. 23.

Women in Trades is a network of like-minded employees interested in creating a comfortable place to share, provide outreach, find resources, motivate, inspire and progress leadership development across the shipyard.

“Being able to meet other women makes the shipyard a better place for me and for women who are growing their careers here,” said Riley Poole, a waterfront safety advocate from Shop 38, Marine Machinist Shop. “Women in Trades has given us a chance to see things we wouldn’t normally see in our daily routines. We’ve got engagement with Command University, the new Command Career Center and we’ll continue to keep providing development opportunities.”

Encapsulated in the five-foot thick, rebar enforced concrete-walled tunnels, the calibration lab is home to some of the most sophisticated, precision tools within the shipyard. Shop 52, Regional Calibration Shop, has approximately 50 employees whose meticulous, high accuracy and electrical measurements provide support to nearly every shop and code in the shipyard, as well as Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Keyport, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and PSNS & IMF’s detachment Everett

The tour, led by Royal Vichi, a calibration lab supervisor, lasted approximately 90 minutes and gave participants the chance to see technologically advanced equipment being actively used by Shop 52 personnel.

“When folks on the waterfront see the calibration stickers on their equipment, it’s more than just a sticker,” said Roy Lindberry, calibration director. “It’s a statement of accuracy and tells our people they can be confident in the tools and instruments they are using to get the job done right.”

While tours of the Calibration Lab are typically given in support of waterfront safety and apprentice classes, Women in Trades is the first ERG to tour the space, which has been the centralized location for calibration work for more than 20 years.

Michelle Berger, an insulator supervisor from Shop 57, Pipe Insulators Shop, and Women in Trades co-lead, arranged the tour and has recently been recognized by Leadership Kitsap for her outstanding contributions to the program. Berger has worked at the shipyard for nearly nine years, and through her involvement with Women in Trades, shares information with shipyard employees on how to build a competitive resume and how to apply for jobs. She as even helped employees find the right job in their preferred department. 

“I had no idea of the work going on down here,” said Talisha Faith, pipe insulator, Shop 57. “It’s so cool to see this and I don’t think I would have come down here if it weren’t for the tour today.”

Women in Trades meets the fourth Thursday of the month and is open to all shipyard employees, regardless of gender identity. February’s speakers will be Dirk Johnson, assistant program coordinator for the shipyard’s apprentice program and Jeff McGloin, deputy apprentice program administrator. They will be addressing some of the requirements of applying for the apprentice program and what to expect after being selected. For more information or to get involved, contact PSNS-IMF.WIT.FCT@navy.mil.