On Friday, September 24th, fourteen participants graduated from our partnership with PIDC’s Navy Yard Workforce Development Initiatives (NYWDI) and Philly Shipyard, Inc. to train unemployed Philadelphians for Union Laborer positions. The participants completed a three-week Shipyard Laborer Program that blended virtual courses and in-person sessions to offer instruction as well as OSHA-10 – General Industry Safety Certification, Basic Life Support/CPR certification, and exposure to the government and commercial shipbuilding industry. Of the 14 graduates who interviewed with Philly Shipyard, 13 were extended job offers for full-time employment in the government and commercial shipbuilding industry starting at $14.00/hour.
Philly Shipyard (formerly Aker Philadelphia Shipyard) is a leading U.S. shipbuilder that is presently pursuing a mix of commercial and government work. It possesses a state-of-the-art shipbuilding facility and has earned a reputation as a preferred provider of ocean-going merchant vessels with a track record of delivering quality ships, having delivered around 50% of all large ocean-going U.S. Jones Act commercial ships since 2000.
The Shipyard Laborer Program was developed by WPSI and NYWDI as a three-week, cohort-based training to connect participants to the technical training, tools and supports needed to build a meaningful career in the government and commercial shipbuilding industry. Philly Shipyard is growing through new contracts to build training vessels for the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD). The Shipyard Laborer Program utilized training space at the Penn State Navy Yard campus to provide participants a rich learning environment while also orienting program graduates to the Navy Yard.
The new hires will begin working at the Shipyard on October 11th, and then can take advantage of a multitude of avenues that allow individuals to gain experience to become full-performance tradespersons, including opportunities to enter into a three-year apprenticeship. Laborers working for Philly Shipyard can also be promoted for gaining industry-recognized trade credentials. The process from Laborer to full performance tradesperson can take one to three years depending on the need in the company, and Philly Shipyard seeks to train and promote from within, meaning graduates of the job training program will have opportunities to move up in their career.
Please join us in congratulating these new hires! We look forward to sharing more successful placements in the near future.