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September 10th, 2014

By Kelli Dugan | kdugan@al.com

View: Full Article & Photos at AL.com

Photo credit: Mike Brantley/mbrantley@al.com
Instructor Jerome Maull, right photo, demonstrates a pipe-beveling technique as student Robert McDonald watches Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, at Bishop State Community College's Carver campus in Mobile, Ala. (Mike Brantley/mbrantley@al.com)

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Mobile, Alabama – Bishop State Community College on Wednesday received nearly $90,000 from Ingalls Shipbuilding to support the company's pre-employment training program at the Mobile institution.

Ingalls conducts an 11-week pre-employment welding program and a four-week pre-employment shipfitter program at Bishop State's Carver campus, and participating students guaranteed positions at Ingalls if they complete their training and meet all other conditions of employment.

The funding announced Wednesday will be used specifically to purchase 20 welding machines and wire feeder boxes.

"Ingalls Shipbuilding is committed to the partnership with Bishop State and its pre-employment program," Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said in a prepared statement.

"This donation will help grow the number of skilled professionals in Alabama and support workforce development through technical education. Our partnership helps both students and the shipyard. Students have access to quality technical education, and the shipyard has new employees coming in with the experience and skills needed. With this donation, Ingalls hopes to strengthen this program even further to support a more robust workforce from Alabama," Cuccias said.

Pascagoula, Miss.-based Ingalls Shipbuilding is a division of Huntingdon Ingalls Industries. The shipyard's pre-employment partnership with Bishop State began in October 2013. To date, the company has hired 104 graduates from the program with another 60 students currently enrolled.

By going through the program, graduates arrive at Ingalls with requisite skills to bypass some in-yard training, helping Ingalls move employees into full production earlier. The program is for Alabama residents and aims to help decrease the unemployment rate in the state through technical education.

"This donation enables us to provide the skills, training and resources needed for possible future employees at Ingalls," Bishop State President James Lowe Jr.

Headquartered in Newport News, Va., Huntingdon Ingalls Industries employs more than 39,000 people both domestically and internationally.

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