NORFOLK NAVAL SHIPYARD, Portsmouth, Va. —
Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) will be recruiting more than 100 recent and upcoming college graduates for entry-level engineer positions in the coming months. This hiring effort, spearheaded by NNSY’s Engineer Recruiting and Onboarding Program Lead Charisse Britt, comes as college graduates face one of the worst job markets in recent memory due to COVID-19. The global pandemic has significantly altered the way that the hiring team plans on recruiting new employees.
According to Britt, instead of traveling to colleges to speak with potential hires in-person, the NNSY recruitment team will be utilizing virtual career fairs to meet with, interview, and screen potential applicants. The shipyard plans to have more than 150 recruiters from the hiring departments to provide an overall presence in screening entry-level engineer potential candidates at these fairs. “The shipyard has registered for almost 50 virtual events at colleges and universities as well as national diversity events with organizations such as the Society for Women Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers, and the Society of Asian Engineers,” said Britt.
While the virtual nature of these events is a departure from the traditional in-person career fairs NNSY has attended in the past, the qualifications needed for the positions and the benefits offered remain the same. A Bachelor’s Degree in any engineering discipline from an Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accredited college or university paired with being a United States citizen are both necessary to be considered for a position.
Beyond the minimum requirements, Britt said she and her team look at a number of factors when deciding if an application would be a good match for NNSY. “We look at academic strength as well as their personal experiences outside of education. The ability to effectively communicate is key for an engineer to be successful at NNSY due to their engagement with many shipyard project teams and organizations,” said Britt. While there are certainly qualifications required for employment and areas of an applicant’s background that may help he or she stand out, Britt reported the hiring team looks at the big picture for all candidates and seeks to hire a diverse group of engineers annually.
Many of the shipyard’s top leaders have started their careers at NNSY as entry-level engineers. The possibility of a lifelong career and leadership positions are not the only benefits entry-level engineers receive when hired at NNSY. All NNSY employees are offered the government benefits package which contains health insurance plans including dental, vision, and life insurance for the employee and his or her family; flexible spending accounts for the employee and his or her family’s medical and childcare expenses; a retirement plan with a government match of up to five percent; and ample paid time off including 13 days of annual leave to start, 13 days of sick leave, and 10 paid holidays annually.
While entry-level engineer positions begin at either a General Schedule (GS) five or seven, all new hires begin their career at NNSY in a training program that gives them the promotion potential to reach a GS-11 or 12 within a few years, depending on what position they are offered and based on their performance.
While the virtual career fairs offer a great opportunity for recent college alumni or current college seniors to meet with NNSY’s recruitment team, this is not the only way interested candidates can be considered for an entry-level engineering position at the shipyard. The recruitment team also works closely with FLTHRO to monitor candidates who have applied online and with Naval Sea Systems Command’s (NAVSEA) Enterprise Talent Management Office to reach potential hires outside of the local area who have a specific skill set needed at the time.
Interested applicants can always submit a copy of their current resume and unofficial college transcript to NNSY_Engineer_Recruiting@navy.mil. NNSY has Direct Hire Authority (DHA) approval, which according to Britt, gives the Hiring Managers the flexibility to expedite the hiring and onboarding timeline for entry-level engineers. For more information on entry-level engineer positions or for a list of all the virtual career fairs where NNSY plans to attend, contact the team at the email above or visit NNSYJobs.com.