June 24, 2019
Floor Statements

Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Madam Speaker, I rise today to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of The Apprentice School in Newport News, Virginia, which was founded in 1919 at Newport News Shipbuilding.

The Apprentice School has been continually recognized locally, regionally, nationally, and globally as an extraordinary apprentice program. It is a leading example of how apprentice programs have been redesigned to teach a wide array of skilled trades, while also offering an educational program rich in academic instruction, craft training, leadership, and extracurricular activities.

In its 100 year history, the Apprentice School has graduated more than 10,800 apprentices, with approximately 800 young men and women currently enrolled in 28 different, four-, five-, and eight-year apprenticeship programs. The Apprentice School provides an academic curriculum that includes studies in Mathematics, Physics, Strength of Materials, Drafting, Marine Engineering, Shipbuilding Operations, and Technical Communications, among other disciplines, leading to a strong technical education foundation.

The Apprentice School has contributed significantly to Newport News Shipbuilding's reputation, tradition and success, producing complex sea-faring vessels and passenger ships to nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers with the craftsmanship of highly skilled graduates.

Representing 13 percent of Newport News Shipbuilding's total current workforce, graduates of The Apprentice School comprise 60 percent of today's general foremen and 45 percent of the production management team. More than 70 percent of graduates are still with the company 15 years after graduation, and graduates are found at all levels of the organization, and all levels of management with more than 3,000 graduates currently employed in more than 230 different occupations.

To ensure that apprentices have many education and employment opportunities, The Apprentice School partners with local community colleges and universities to deliver the related academic component of these apprenticeships, which culminates in associate and bachelor's degrees. In addition, the school has established articulation agreements with 10 colleges and universities, providing a seamless transfer of credits and continuing education opportunities for graduates.

The Apprentice School is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education. Their apprenticeship programs are also recognized by and registered with the Virginia Apprenticeship Council, allowing apprentices the opportunity to earn college credit, receive competitive pay and benefits, learn a trade, and foster the development of craftsmanship, scholarship and leadership.

Over its 100-year history, The Apprentice School at Newport News Shipbuilding has proven its commitment to establishing robust training and development programs intended to develop and leverage the full potential of the future workforce, and provide high-quality opportunities for its students and the community.

Madam Speaker, The Apprentice School and Newport News Shipbuilding will gather for a celebration this weekend to commemorate this important milestone for the school. So as they look back on the last 100 years, I know that The Apprentice School and its graduates will continue to make important contributions to our nation's shipbuilding industry over the next 100 years.