In what is described as an educational first for the San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) and a local company, National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO and SDCCD announced that they have created a new degree program in shipbuilding technologies.
Each semester, two courses will be offered to employees of the shipyard, one specializing in manufacturing skills and taught by a certified NASSCO instructor and the other a general education course taught by an instructor from SDCCD. This education track will lead to an Associate in Science degree in shipbuilding technologies.
“This program is in keeping with NASSCO’s commitment to employee education and training,” said Richard Vort-mann, president of NASSCO. “Our belief in self improvement is part of our company’s mission and value system and contributes to making NASSCO an employer of choice in San Diego.” Vortmann said NASSCO is paying all costs associated with the program including tuition and books, and providing classroom facilities at the shipyard for the courses.
Armando Abiña, dean of SDCCD’s School of Math, Engineering and Technology, said, “When NASSCO approached us to help create and certify this program, we were excited about the opportunity to participate. Knowledge of shipbuilding technologies is in short supply in the job marketplace, and we believe we are providing a real contribution to the community and the individuals involved by overseeing this program and providing part of the instruction that will make this new degree possible.”
The first two classes, which are being held from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, are in ship manufacturing print reading and health. The classes are fully subscribed, with 37 students enrolled in each one. Several of the employee-students are taking additional evening and Saturday courses at area community colleges to accelerate their completion of the degree program. Depending on any additional courses they might take, the program will take 2-4 years to complete.
NASSCO is currently building two trailerships for Totem Ocean Trailer Express, Inc. (TOTE), and four double-hull tankers for BP Shipping Company of Alaska. In October 2001, NASSCO was awarded a contract for the design and construction of a fleet of TAKE dry cargo/ammunition ships for the Navy. Three ships of the 12-ship program are presently under contract.