It is a real pleasure to recognize Ingalls Shipbuilding as the Columbia Southern University Partner of the Month for December 2015. For 77 years, the more than 12,000 employees of Ingalls Shipbuilding have pioneered the development and production of technologically advanced, highly capable warships for the surface Navy fleet, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Marine Corps, and foreign and commercial customers. Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula is the largest private employer in Mississippi and a major contributor to the economic growth of the state of Alabama, as well.
A few facts regarding Ingalls Shipbuilding:
- Located in Pascagoula, MS on 800 acres of land along the Pascagoula River
- Employs over 12,500 people
- Largest supplier of U.S. Navy surface combatants; they have built more than 70% of Navy fleet of warships
- Builder-of-record for 35 Aegis DDG 51 class of guided missile destroyers
- Builder-of-record for the LHA 6 class large deck amphibious ships
- Prime builder of the Navy’s newest fleet of the San Antonio (LPD 17) class amphibious assault ships
- Has the premier Marine composite research, development and construction facility in the country
Ingalls Shipbuilding has demonstrated a strong commitment to education through the development of the Maritime Training Academy, an apprentice program for employees, and encouragement of lifelong learning through a tuition reimbursement program. Columbia Southern University is pleased that Ingalls Shipbuilding has been a Learning Partner since January 2015.
During the recognition ceremony and reception held on November 18, 2015, representatives from CSU had an opportunity to visit with Ingalls administrators, staff, graduates and students. Amber Vice, educational assistance administrator, stated that the Learning Partnership allows Ingalls Shipbuilding employees to pursue a degree online around a busy plant schedule, and the tuition discount and book grant program provides an opportunity to start a program with a smaller out-of-pocket cost. She also commented on the LifePace program and how that option was a benefit for many of their busy employees who are trying to balance career and family commitments.
According to Jim Forsythe, CSU corporate outreach representative, Ingalls was a very deserving candidate for the Partner of the Month award. Not only do they support their employees through a tuition reimbursement program, but they are also one of the few companies in the U.S. that offers a fully paid apprentice program for their workforce. They encourage and support every employee choosing to pursue advanced training and education through multiple opportunities made available across the company.
Charles Eubanks, a CSU graduate, said he would recommend CSU to anyone desiring to further their education. Eubanks stated, “I always received excellent service from the staff and that is hard to find these days. It allowed me to create a class schedule that would work around my job and home life.”
Pictured receiving the December Partner of the Month award for Ingalls Shipbuilding are Denise Jones, director of talent management; Amber Vice, educational assistance administrator; Jim Forsythe, CSU corporate outreach representative; and Mark Scott, manager of product training. They are joined by several graduates and students who stopped by during the reception.