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News | June 30, 2021

Creating a New Generation of Submarine Shipbuilders

SENEDIA created the “Next Gen Partnership for Submarine Shipbuilding Supply Chain Workforce Development” (“Next Gen Partnership”) project to facilitate working across state lines to tackle the regional need for skilled workers and funding to support the required workforce development.  SENEDIA is collaborating with the regional Manufacturing Extension Partnerships, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, and other key state stakeholders to ensure a robust training pipeline.  Since its initial award of $6.8 million in August 2020, SENEDIA has approved 93 courses and trained more than 960 individuals in maritime trades such as pipefitting, welding, shipfitting, machining, sheet metal, and electrical.  The organization continues to increase training and expand the prototype model for implementing trade skill supply chain training in each state.

“The Next Gen Partnership addresses the enormous challenge to find and hire a combined 14,000 new skilled tradespeople over the next five years in support of the Department’s shipbuilding requirements. SENEDIA has demonstrated the ability to convene organizations across state lines to develop our essential industrial workforce,” said Mr. Jesse Salazar, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy.

“The submarine shipbuilding supply chain companies expressed interest in developing a talent repository to be a source of candidates to quickly fill emergent and transitioning company needs.  The repository captures candidates’ experience and provides them insight into possible job opportunities.  We are reaching out to recent and future graduates from the regional Career and Technical Education schools to encourage them to input their information into the talent repository,” said Ms. Molly Donohue Magee, Executive Director of SENEDIA.

The Next Gen Partnership, in conjunction with SENEDIA, has also launched a supply chain database for maritime companies.  This database identifies regional industrial capabilities to assist General Dynamics Electric Boat (lead developer of the Columbia- and Virginia-class submarines with the largest regional workforce demand) with the growth of its regional supply chain, as well as foster collaborations between suppliers.

“IBAS’s National Imperative for Industrial Skills (“Skills Imperative”) initiative identified the Next Gen Partnership as instrumental for accelerating industrial skills training to position a skilled workforce to support our nation’s next generation of nuclear-powered submarines,” said Ms. Adele Ratcliff, IBAS Program Director.