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NEWS | April 8, 2021

Continuous Training and Development: Collaboration is Key

By Jason Scarborough, Norfolk Naval Shipyard Public Affairs

Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) employees are following a new motto of “One Mission - One Team” focused on teamwork to move forward and to be successful. One specific example of this has been exemplified between support and production shops in the Metal Inspectors Department (Code 135) during the development of Visual Inspection Continuous Training Development (CTD) areas.

CTD gives employees the ability to maintain proficiency and learn new skills based on their trade. Tasked with developing the Visual Inspection CTD area was Code 135 Non-Destructive Metals Inspector Faith Kinnaird. Kinnaird, new to the position, said, “We mainly inspect welds and their parts and components. We work side-by-side with shipfitters (Shop 11), welders (Shop 26), and pipefitters (Shop 56).”

Kinnaird began reaching out to various production shop personnel to see if the CTD could assist in creating mock-ups and props to enhance training. To help make training and development more effective and productive, the team would simulate as many true-to-real-life scenarios as possible. The team had plenty of prop pieces they could easily use in training, but in reality inspectors would be onboard ships, often times in tight, low-lit spaces and some of the components inspected are not as easily accessible, so the goal was to simulate these difficult locations.

It was at this point coordinated teamwork and communication between the shops began. Shops 11, 26, 56 and multiple others began to donate large mock-up pieces or construct new ones to help make training more aligned to what they might actually do on the ship. This in turn, allowed the production shop employees to get hands-on experience. Shop 26 utilized apprentices for welding and Shop 11 is currently using their new apprentices to build a large mock up piece. Since these shops normally work together on a ship, or in their shops, it only made sense to collaborate and develop a more effective training process.

“I was overwhelmed with the amount of help and support I received through the midst of working around production schedules, my own training schedule, and COVID-19 setbacks. Everyone came together and worked as a team, and now Code 135 has a wonderful start to an ever growing Visual Inspection CTD area,” said Kinnaird. “We knew that no matter how efficient our trades internal operations were, we needed to work together to ensure the success of our employees and the shipyard as a whole. By forming this collaborative process between trades/shops for training purposes, we are ultimately helping build higher levels of morale, efficiency and productivity.”

Code 135 continues to collaborate with various shops to develop the best CTD areas. The need and requirement for a different approach in training development allowed multiple trades to come together as a team and champion the success of everyone while fulfilling the NNSY mission and continuing to follow the NNSY goal of “One Mission - One Team.”