Ingalls apprentice graduation

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Saturday will be a day of accomplishment for many craftsman and woman as they celebrate their graduation from the Ingalls Shipbuilding Apprenticeship Program. The graduation will take place at 10 a.m. at the Mississippi Coast Convention Center in Biloxi.
News 25’s Caroline Eaker stopped by the graduation rehearsal today to speak with some of the graduates before the big day.
Many of the seats will be filled Saturday as family and friends gather to celebrate a major milestone as Ingalls Shipbuilding officially recognizes the newest graduates of their shipbuilding apprenticeship program, a program that started back in 1952. Vice President of Human Resources and Administration Edmond Hughes said, “The apprenticeship program is a cornerstone of our workforce development process and it’s critical that we bring on individuals like this and we are really proud of our graduates.”
This year, 123 students will walk across this stage and graduate from the apprenticeship program. The apprenticeship program consists of two four-year programs. Anna Dodson has a bright future at Ingalls. “I am the only one in my family out here and I am the youngest out of four kids and I am the only one to graduate high school and have a job like this so it’s definitely an honor. I am graduating tomorrow, but I am already a pipe foreman so next up after that I am hoping for general foreman and keep moving up.”
While Saturday’s commencement is a day reserved to reward each member of this year’s graduating class with a certificate to acknowledge their achievement, graduates like Anthony Toliver are already looking ahead. “I have learned a lot and I have gotten really, really good at what I’m doing, but since doing this apprenticeship program, I kind of want to give back and help the ones coming up now, help them out the way I was helped when I was coming through.”