Virginia wins $5M DOD grant to train shipbuilding workers
Institutions to create K-12 training pipeline
Virginia won a $5 million U.S. Department of Defense grant to train workers in defense manufacturing industries, particularly shipbuilding, in Danville and Hampton Roads, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday.
The grant will go to the Virginia Defense Manufacturing Community, which brings together the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Southern Virginia and Old Dominion University’s Maritime Industrial Base Ecosystem, over federal fiscal years 2022 and 2023
“Our maritime defense manufacturing industry is vital to the nation’s security and a critical part of our economy,” Northam said in a statement. “This groundbreaking partnership will help diversify and modernize the nation’s best maritime workforce to build and sustain the world’s best navy, while providing young people a pathway toward fulfilling jobs in a high-tech, well-paid industry.”
The Virginia Defense Manufacturing Community will create a K-12 to university training pipeline to help students in the Danville and Norfolk areas gain the skills needed for these industries. Students will be introduced to manufacturing workforce opportunities in elementary school and will have access to curriculums related to their preferred manufacturing discipline as they get older. At the high school, community college and university levels, students will have access to employment opportunities.
The project will create a manufacturing engineering technology community college to university pathway that will award credentials to manufacturing engineers.
“We aim to integrate K-12, community college and university programs with cutting-edge training resources to deliver the strongest, most diverse and most adaptable manufacturing workforce,” Institute for Advanced Learning and Research Executive Director Mark Gignac said in a statement.