August 17, 2013

Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard graduates 132 apprentices

Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PHNSY & IMF) graduated 132 apprentices from its apprentice program at a ceremony held Aug. 9 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

The graduates, representing 25 shops and 19 trades, completed four-year, full-time, paid apprenticeships that combined academic study with on-the-job work experience. They earned associate’s degrees from Honolulu Community College as well as certification in their respective trades from the Navy and U.S. Department of Labor. Graduates transitioned to mechanic or journey worker status in shipyard jobs paying an average of nearly $30 an hour.

“Welcome to your new role as leaders,” said Capt. Brian Osgood, shipyard commander, as he congratulated the graduates.

“Every member of our shipyard ohana looks forward to continuing to work with you every day for many years to come in order to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet ships and submarines ‘fit to fight.’”

Hawaii Gov. Neil Amercrombie was keynote speaker at this year’s graduating class.

“These graduates were chosen from amongst the thousands that applied,” the governor said. “They have met standards set 105 years ago when the shipyard was first founded. They represent a legacy of apprenticeship that goes back generations, all the way to the Middle Ages. It’s a great honor and privilege to be here.”

In a letter written by U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono and presented to each graduate, the senator expressed her congratulations to the 2013 class.

“As journeymen and women, you assume integral roles by helping to maintain the most powerful Navy in the world,” the senator wrote. “I am confident in the shipyard leadership and your newly recognized skills which continue to make America strong.”

Momilani Loveland, shop 57 insulator, and Kevin Matsumoto, shop 26 welder, offered remarks on behalf of the apprentice class.

Loveland reflected on her memories growing up as a shipyard child with both of her parents working at the yard. She said there were days her father had to work late or cancel vacations due to the shipyard’s mission. Loveland’s mother balanced life as a shipyarder along with the responsibilities of being the head of the household.

“It was hard growing up as a shipyard kid, but now that I am here, I understand why. I see the big picture,” she said.

“I reflect upon what my parents have accomplished and what a legacy they have left me to carry on- to keep this shipyard viable and always ‘fit to fight.’”

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Source: Ho`okele