The school is named after former Mississippi Governor, Haley Barbour. Barbour says, "Well it's a great honor while you're still living that somebody names a building after you, but this is much more than that. This symbolizes the state’s commitment to workforce training, to skills training, to improving skills and quality of our working people so they can get better, higher paying jobs." The 22 million dollar Haley Barbour Maritime Training Academy at Ingalls Shipbuilding is officially open. It will serve as a workforce development training center in a partnership between Ingalls and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Dr. Mary Graham, the President of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, says, "The quality of the workforce on the Gulf Coast will be premiere as far as the quality of training. I anticipate not only Ingalls workers being trained, but across the Gulf Coast."
The center will offer apprentice programs in 14 different crafts. They will provide training for electricians, plumbers, welders, and mechanics, to name a few. Mike Petters, President and C.E.O. of Huntington Ingalls Industries, says, "It'll mean the same things to Ingalls that the service academy means to the services. It's really where you set the course for the future." The training academy can hold about 400 students. The school will be churning out graduates, graduates that know what they're doing. Representative Steven Palazzo says, "We have some of the greatest shipbuilders ever in Mississippi and we just want to make sure that we have them for years to come." The academy will have 24 classrooms, three computer labs, a library, a bookstore, 26 offices, and classrooms, plus a variety of labs. Classes will begin in January of 2014. To find out more about the apprentice programs, visit huntingtoningalls.com/careers/apprentice.