Students at Bryant High School in Irvington now have access to the most updated welding equipment to prepare them for jobs in the local shipbuilding industry, thanks to a partnership with Ingalls Shipbuilding.
Ingalls contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to create Bryant’s new Talent Development Lab, which features 21 welding stations, safety equipment and training modules. Students will train on the equipment as they work to earn nationally recognized industry certification.
“We say that at Ingalls we build the finest ships the world has ever known. And you know, that’s true,” Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said during a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony.“Starting today, Alma Bryant will build the finest shipbuilders the world has ever known.”
Bryant has hosted a welding program for several years, and will now be able to improve its instruction with the more modern equipment. Eighty-six students are currently enrolled in welding classes at Bryant, which are taught by George Crenshaw. Students may take up to four semester’s worth of welding courses while at Bryant. Some of the more advanced students are eligible to take a fifth class as their senior project.
Through this partnership, Ingalls employees will also mentor students on life skills while teaching them to weld, use machinery and other shipyard crafts. George Jones, vice president of operations at Ingalls, noted during the ribbon-cutting ceremony that career-technical education programs such as this are invaluable in preparing graduates for today’s challenging workforce.