- Associated Press - Sunday, August 16, 2015

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) - A federally run shipyard in Virginia is recruiting 850 miles away in south Mississippi.

The Norfolk Naval Shipyard had never recruited outside of Portsmouth before Saturday’s job fair in Biloxi, deputy executive director Jeff Cunningham told WLOX-TV (https://bit.ly/1HPNOEj ).

He said the shipyard has hired 1,200 people in the past year, and there’s now a local shortage of mechanics, electricians, welders and other skilled workers.

“Over the next couple of years our workload requires that our workforce grow,” he said.

Cunningham says the Norfolk Naval Shipyard is among four federally owned shipyards in the country.



The career fair for skilled workers was held at the Mississippi Coast Convention Center.

Some of the people at the job fair had worked in shipbuilding before.

“It’s a good experience. If you have the experience you should try it. If you don’t, it’s something to think about,” said Carlos Holloway.

Michael Davidson used to work at Trinity Yachts in Gulfport with a company that serviced the ships’ electrical components. Now he’s hoping to get his foot in the door with an entry-level position at Norfolk.

“Even if you don’t have the experience, they have an apprenticeship program to get started in and work your way from the bottom,” said Davison.

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Information from: WLOX-TV, https://www.wlox.com

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