NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — On Wednesday afternoon, the City of Newport News and Newport News Shipbuilding announced that they are partnering on a workforce development initiative with a focus on the Marshall-Ridley Choice Neighborhood Initiative (CNI) and the Southeast Community.

The initiative aims to build a hiring and training pipeline through enrollment in the Hampton Roads region’s Maritime Trades Training Program and other pre-employment programs. Those who successfully complete the program will be offered employment with Newport News Shipbuilding at a starting pay of around $19 per hour.  

“Newport News Shipbuilding has played an integral role in our CNI efforts since the start,” said Newport News Mayor McKinley L. Price. “We are fortunate to have corporate citizens such as the shipyard who are engaged in the community and truly care about our citizens. This partnership to provide trades training, support services, and employment will have a positive impact on the lives of many of our residents, and at the same time provide a skilled workforce for the maritime industry.”

Each training program will last two to three weeks and include hands-on experience in positions such as deck electrician and pipe insulators. All classes are offered monthly, including 90% hands-on instruction, and will take place Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Eligible candidates could receive wrap-around services including tuition costs, steel-toed boots, childcare, transportation and financial counseling. 

“We are committed to being a community partner,” said Susan Jacobs, vice president of human resources and administration for Newport News Shipbuilding. “We are pleased to work with the City of Newport News on the Choice Neighborhood Initiative and look forward to building a pipeline of talent from the Marshall Ridley neighborhood for skilled trades positions at Newport News Shipbuilding. This effort will better outcomes and help improve the quality of life for our neighbors.” 

Applicants must be at least 18 years old, a US citizen and a resident of Newport News. In addition, they must pass a background and drug test.

To learn more about the program or to apply, contact Joy Robison with the Brooks Crossing Innovation and Opportunity Center via phone (757) 975-5300 or email