PASCAGOULA – (AP) Ingalls Shipbuilding President Irwin F. Edenzon said the company will hire more than 5,000 workers over the next two years.
Edenzon made the announcement at a recent career fair that drew more than 1,200 students from six counties. He said Ingalls will be hiring 1,200 people through the end of the year and another 4,000 next year. Most of those are craftsman positions.
The increase in demand for workers is attributed to new shipbuilding contracts. Ingalls has enough work to keep employees busy for the next few years and the company also has bid on a contract for another five destroyers.
The students at the career fair learned that the company offers jobs in fields like engineering, law, planning, welding, pipefitting, security, medicine and communications.
“As long as the nation believes we need a strong Navy, we’ll have a strong shipyard,” Edenzon said.
Edenzon said the company is doubling the size of its apprentice program. A new apprentice school is under construction and slated to open next fall.
“We want to make them understand that we have the facilities and resources that will help them succeed,” Edenzon said. “(They can) make a very, very good living with good benefits.”
Bobby McWilliams, a senior at Gautier High, said he plans to apply for a job at Ingalls after graduation.
“People said jobs here are too hot and dirty and don’t pay,” he said. “But this program showed me that Ingalls is a better option. It’s actually a great place to go.”
Alex Yim, design engineer and manager at Ingalls, told students that people who begin in the craft can work their way to the top of the company.
“I wanted to let them know that you don’t exactly have to go to college to get into engineering or to move up,” Yim said at the engineering exhibit.