Newport News Shipbuilding Launches Major Hiring Initiative

The future John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) under construction at Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding. Newport News is the only shipyard in the United States that can manufacture nuclear-powered aircraft carriers for the U.S. Navy. Photo by John Whalen/Huntington Ingalls

Newport News Shipbuilding has announced a major hiring initiative in collaboration with the Commonwealth of Virginia that will seek to train and hire for thousands of shipbuilding jobs over the next five years.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced Tuesday that as part of the hiring initiative, various state agencies and regional community colleges will work with Newport News to augment the ongoing efforts to hire as many as 7,000 new shipbuilders in the next five years.

Newport News says the collaboration is expected to bolster its recruitment of people to meet its anticipated workforce demands in the Ford-class aircraft carrier and Virginia-class submarine programs. The jobs will also support the production of Columbia-class ballistic submarines and increased submarine fleet support work, as well as increased submarine fleet support work and the refueling and complex overhaul and defueling of Nimitz-class aircraft carriers.

Newport News says it also be retraining employees over the next five years to “incorporate new digital shipbuilding technology and is continuing to make capital investments in the company’s facilities and technology infrastructure.” 

Newport News Shipbuilding is a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, America’s top naval shipbuilder. The yard is also a leading industrial employer in the state of Virginia.

The Virginia Pilot reported that the initiative will expand Newport News’ workforce from about 23,000 currently to about 25,000. The 7,000 figure quoted by Gov. Northam accounts for retirements and normal attribution, so actual net new jobs will be more like 2,000 over five years.

“Newport News Shipbuilding’s success is important not just for Hampton Roads, but for the entire commonwealth,” Northam said. “Therefore, it is critical that we support growth of this magnitude with an innovative partnership between state agencies that will address the company’s workforce and training needs and ensure a pipeline of skilled talent. To remain competitive in a 21st century economy, it is a priority to provide workforce solutions that connect Virginians to the skills, training and opportunities required to meet companies’ needs in high-demand sectors. I thank Huntington Ingalls Industries and Newport News Shipbuilding for its long-term commitment to the commonwealth and applaud all the state partners involved in this ground-breaking initiative.”

“As we continue to transform our business, we look forward to recruiting, training and retaining talented men and women who will help meet our workforce needs now and into the future,” commented Newport News Shipbuilding President Jennifer Boykin.