BREMERTON, Wash. –
Shop 75, Dismantlers, celebrated its 10th anniversary at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility, Nov. 16 in the Shipyard Auditorium.
Members of the shop gathered in the auditorium to listen to their history, welcome back some original members of Shop 75 who retired, and to hear future plans for their shop.
During the event, Paul Dalziell, non-nuclear director, Shop 75, explained how the original plan for dismantlers at the shipyard was project-specific for USS Enterprise (CVN 65), which was soon to be decommissioned at the time Shop 75 was stood up. The understanding was that once the project was finished, there would no longer be a need for Shop 75.
However, “Over time, it became abundantly clear that the benefits of this organization were too valuable to the command to follow the initial plan,” Dalziell said.
Dalziell went on to explain that the shop’s demand enabled it to hire more workers and expand from the modest group of employees it started with a decade ago. Since September 2012, the shop has hired, on average, 42 new employees a year and been an important pipeline in providing workers with opportunities in other shops. During the past decade, Shop 75 has helped 251 of its workers get positions in other trades, and has served as starting point for 147 workers to enter the shipyard’s Apprentice Program.
“I look around and see quality people,” said James Groat, former superintendent for Shop 75 and current superintendent, Code 900S, Waterfront Safety. “One thing that will stick is the history of what we’ve done here. You all have worked hard and have always done a fantastic job on some of the hardest, most physical and most challenging jobs on the shipyard.”
Dalziell called the group “professional recyclers” and said while the work they do does not put ships back out to sea, dismantling the ships that come in and saving what was valuable for future use was just as important.
Dalziell informed the group that their hard work has not gone unnoticed and career pathways are being opened up in the shop to help with career progression. With more first level supervisory positions coming soon, Dalziell explained that Shop 75 workers can stay and work their way up the promotion ladder, rather than transfer to other shops for those opportunities.
“This will allow you to stay in this shop and retire the Navy’s fleet,” he said. “If you decide to stay, you will eventually get the chance to retire out of this shop. It’s something you have all worked for. It’s something you can be proud of.”
After the ceremony, employees were invited back to the shop for cake and will be given certificates at a future date to commemorate their service.