Huntington Ingalls Industries Ingalls Shipbuilding division, along with the Pascagoula-Gautier School District, recently celebrated the opening of a new talent development lab at Pascagoula High School. The talent development lab at Pascagoula High School is the third in a partnership Ingalls forged with three local high schools to bolster each of the school’s technical programs, especially in shipbuilding trades. The first lab opened last year at Moss Point High School.
“The work we’ve accomplished with our partners at these schools has been outstanding, but it’s not done yet,” said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. “We know there is great potential in the American workforce and a great need for more skilled workers. These labs will give students along the Gulf Coast a head start in their prospective trades, making them some of the most highly competitive applicants when the time comes for them to enter the workforce. My hope is that this partnership will produce the skilled labor our country needs—leaders in our communities and young patriots that will one day build the ships needed to keep our nation safe.”
The talent development lab at Pascagoula High School is the third installment in the Ingalls Strategic Technical Education Partnership. I-STEP was established to assist local students in a career path by supporting their schools’ technical/welding programs and, in turn, cultivating the next-generation workforce. So far, Ingalls has opened labs at Moss Point High School and at Alma Bryant High School in Irvington, Alabama.
“We are focusing on having better integration of young people into the workforce,” said Wayne Rodolfich, superintendent of the Pascagoula-Gautier School District. “The facility has not been renovated since the opening of the building in the 1970s. As you can imagine, we started running into problems with things like ventilation and cleanliness. Then Ingalls came along with an idea on how to help our students who want to get started in the industry, and we jumped at the opportunity.”
In addition to the renovations to the facilities, Ingalls has provided the schools with modern welding equipment and all of the necessary safety equipment to ensure industry standards are met while learning, which will provide an easier transition from student to professional.