Mission Core Values Faculty


The Apprentice School—founded in 1919 at Newport News Shipbuilding—is the preeminent apprenticeship program in the nation and offers four-, five-, and eight-year apprenticeships in nineteen shipbuilding disciplines and eight advanced programs of study. The Apprentice School is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education and registered with the Virginia Apprenticeship Council. The school offers apprentices the opportunity to earn college credit, receive competitive pay and benefits and learn a trade. The school is committed to fostering apprentices’ development of craftsmanship, scholarship and leadership.

Founded in 1919

when Homer L. Ferguson issued Executive Order No. 24

10,000+ Grads

The majority of our graduates went straight into shipbuilding careers.


The Apprentice School is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education

7840 Roswell Road Building 300, Suite 325 Atlanta, GA 30350 Telephone: 770-396-3898 / FAX: 770-396-3790


The mission of The Apprentice School is:

  • To contribute to the profitability and growth of Newport News Shipbuilding by recruiting, training and developing men and women for careers in shipbuilding.
  • To provide the company with a continuous supply of journeypersons who possess the skills, knowledge and pride of workmanship which have traditionally distinguished the shipbuilding craftsman.
  • To develop core leadership principles in all students along with the character and technical competence that is required to fully meet the challenges of a shipbuilding career.

Core Values


Integrity is at the heart of who we are and what we do. We are each personally accountable for the highest standards of ethics and integrity. We will fulfill our commitments as responsible citizens and employees. We will consistently treat customers, suppliers and company resources with the respect they deserve. We are committed to being honest and fair with our customers, our employees, our stockholders and each other. We will be truthful, trustworthy and honorable in all aspects of our work. We will always do the right thing even when it may be difficult.


We are committed to fostering an engaged workforce. Our employees are very involved in what they do and take ownership of their work and work processes. Engagement is a heightened level of ownership where employees want to do whatever they can for the benefit of their internal and external customers and for the success of the organization as a whole.


We value our employees above all else and will not compromise on maintaining a safe and healthy work environment for them. We expect everyone to actively participate and take responsibility for their own safety and the safety of those around them. Employees can report safety concerns without fear of reprisal and are empowered to stop work if an operation presents significant risk or danger. We continuously evaluate and improve our operations to understand and mitigate risk.


We seek and accept personal responsibility for our actions and results. We keep promises and commitments made to others. We are responsible for ensuring quality is a component of everything we do. We take pride in providing outstanding customer service.


We value people, knowing we must show fairness and equal treatment for all. We will continuously build a collaborative culture of inclusion where treating each other with empathy, dignity and compassion is the expected behavior. We do this by actively listening to all perspectives and treating everyone in a courteous and professional manner.


We hold ourselves to a very high standard of performance. We are committed to improving our company performance while upholding our strong values. We always perform in a way that is aligned with our values and procedures, because meeting a performance goal is never justification for unethical behavior. Superior performance and quality ensure future trust and confidence in our products and services. We promote continuous improvement, innovation and creativity.


Craft Instructors

Over 100 years ago, the school introduced the role of craft instructor to help apprentices develop the core leadership principles and craftsmanship necessary for a successful shipbuilding career. Today, almost 70 craft instructors ensure apprentices receive the training and the types of jobs they need to develop targeted skill sets, document the apprentices’ skills development and provide them with regular and consistent evaluations.

Academic Instructors

The Apprentice School’s 14 academic instructors deliver the courses in business, communications, drafting, mathematics, physics and ship construction. Academic instructors create classroom experiences to prepare apprentices for work in their shipbuilding trades, to continue their education in one of the school’s advanced programs and to further their education through Newport News Shipbuilding’s Educational Assistance Program.

Leadership Development

Apprentices become leaders in the classroom and on the waterfront through the development of The Apprentice School’s nine leadership principles:

  • Integrity
  • Commitment
  • Improvement
  • Respect
  • Teamwork
  • Empowerment
  • Communication
  • Planning
  • Decision Making

Graduates of The Apprentice School are well prepared to continue Newport News Shipbuilding’s long tradition of building the most complex and powerful naval vessels in the world.

Relationship to Newport News Shipbuilding

Because of the unique nature of apprenticeship, The Apprentice School and its leadership are structured within Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries. Huntington Ingalls designs, builds and maintains nuclear and non-nuclear ships for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard and provides after-market services for military ships around the globe. The Apprentice School provides quality training and education for Newport News Shipbuilding.

Newport News Shipbuilding leadership »