Newport News Shipbuilding partners with city to provide job training for people in southeast community

Newport News Shipbuilding has partnered with the city to provide training and jobs for people in the southeast community of the city.

The partnership will offer training through the Hampton Roads region’s Maritime Trades Training Program and provide wrap-around services to support trainees.

Those who successfully complete the program will be offered employment with Newport News Shipbuilding at a starting pay of around $19 per hour.

“There are a lot of people in the Marshall-Ridley neighborhood, who based on the work that has been done there that are in need good and stable employment, and the shipyard has a need for a significant number of employees over the next five years,” said Tom Cosgrove, manager of corporate citizenship and government relations for Newport News Shipbuilding. “It’s a win-win situation for the city, for the shipyard, for the residents to really be able to do something good to provide jobs and some really unique opportunities.”

Applicants don’t need to enter the program with any specific technical knowledge, but the two- or three-week training courses will give them entry-level skills in trades that will make them eligible for roles such as a shipfitter, deck electrician, welder, sheet metal worker, pipe insulator, pipefitter and outside machinist.

The city will provide wrap-around services including covering the expenses for training, child care, transportation, hard hats, steel-toed boots and tools. Newport News also offers financial counseling and its Navigating Wealth program, which is a six-week work readiness program that teaches soft skills, digital literacy and workplace excellence. Participants receive a stipend while completing the course and a few certifications including one from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s 10-hour safety course.

“It takes the stress off of individuals who don’t have any income,” said Lisa Wornom-Zahralddin, project manager for the city manager’s office. “We provide the stipend based on what our Department of Human Services estimated would cover childcare and that way they’re learning financial management as they go.”

The funding is provided through a Virginia Department of Social Services grant.

The shipyard is expecting to increase its hiring for the next five years as it begins work on Columbia-class submarines and continues with significant contracts for Virginia-class submarines and aircraft carriers.

“We always hope when we bring a new employee on that they will find the work rewarding and engaging and spend their career here,” Cosgrove said. “We try to provide them with good benefits, competitive salaries and opportunities for advancements so that they can make this a career and not just a job.”

Applicants must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen and live in Newport News. All will be required to pass a background check, a drug screening and a physical.

The training is offered monthly and takes place from 7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

For more information or to apply, contact Joy Robison with the Brooks Crossing Innovation and Opportunity Center by phone at 757-975-5300 or via email at

Jessica Nolte, 757-912-1675,