RD288 - Status of the Virginia Ship Repair Association and Virginia Community College System Pre-Hire Immersion Training Program

Executive Summary:
On behalf of the Virginia Ship Repair Association, I submit the following report regarding the status of the Pre-Hire Immersion Training Program, as required in Chapter 732 Item 101, H.1. through H.4. (Regular Session, 2016). This program is facilitated by Virginia's Community Colleges, in partnership with the Virginia Ship Repair Association.

Currently, the Virginia Ship Repair Association and VCCS, led by Tidewater Community College, lacking a contract vehicle on which to base the processing of the Pre-Hire Immersion Training Program, are undergoing negotiation of a Memorandum of Understanding to implement a proper structure for this program. In addition, the Ship Repair Industry, having faced a well-documented workload downturn in FY2016, has faced a lack of immediate need for the program. This has allowed all parties involved to continue planning, and construct foundational agreements that will support the program through its duration.

As of today, no funding from the State of Virginia has been spent on this program. A pilot course in Maritime Welding has been planned for later this year, at the end of October. Following this pilot, the program will be run in cycles of industry demand, as determined by Virginia Ship Repair Association Member Companies through an electronic demand-signal portal. Although no additional workers have been trained through this program since the initial test pilot-courses in 2014, the Association and its Members are now facing an increased demand for skilled workers in the applicable trades – Maritime Welding, Electrical, and Coatings - and remain confident that the Pre-Hire Immersion Training Program will fill these workforce needs.

I respectfully submit the attached documents, which outline the outcomes of the initial pilot courses in 2014, as well as the constructed foundational plan for moving forward to meet the goals of training and achieving entry-level employment for skilled workers, as well as ensuring the Pre-Hire Immersion Training Program remains self-funded through employer payback provisions.

Should you have any questions, or require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.


/s/ Barbara A. Washer

Development and Events Strategist
Virginia Ship Repair Association (VSRA)