(The Center Square) – Virginia has received a $ 5 million federal grant to fund a kindergarten to grade 12 training pipeline to train shipbuilding workers for the navy, the governor said Friday Ralph Northam.
The money, which the Department of Defense allocated to the Virginia Defense Manufacturing Community, will be used to teach students in the Danville and Norfolk areas skills that would prepare them to work in the defense manufacturing industries. It is designed to stimulate the local workforce in these industries along with the local population.
“Our maritime defense manufacturing industry is vital to the security of the country and a vital part of our economy,” Northam said in a statement. “Virginia is a recognized leader in the manufacture of defense products. This groundbreaking partnership will help diversify and modernize the country’s best maritime workforce to build and maintain the world’s best navy, while providing a path for young people to fulfilling jobs in a high-tech, well-paying industry.
According to the governor’s office, the investment will lead to better manufacturing capacity, resilience and diversity in the maritime defense industry. The money will provide elementary students with manufacturing opportunities and older students access to programs that teach them the discipline of manufacturing. It will also offer them employment opportunities in secondary and higher education institutions.
“This initiative presents a tremendous opportunity to strengthen our country’s defense force,” Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Defense Kathleen Jabs said in a statement. “The entire grant development process required and fostered collaboration between federal, state and local entities as well as private companies, universities and regional economic alliances. We are excited about the investment in the future starting with the youngest learners in Virginia.
Virginia has a large number of defense contractor jobs due to its proximity to Washington, DC and its military bases.