He offers Gilliam good luck

Published 10:50 am Tuesday, May 2, 2017


Cumberland High School’s Jaylen Gilliam is in for a great experience. Until now, most people have never heard of the Newport News Apprentice School. It is one of the oldest and best apprentice schools in the world, sponsored by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company. This is the company that built the liners The America and The United States.

Also they built the first atomic carrier, The Forestall, and atomic sub, The Lincoln. The school is a trade school with a wide variety of options required to build and outfit a ship. The students start off spending half the day in class learning ship terms, math and mechanical drawing.

They are paid to go to class the same as working (how about that) and the pay is above the minimum wage so they can support themselves.

When they finish, they have been raised to top mechanics’ wages.

Many of my friends went on to college. I was on educational leave, which meant that I could come back and work in the yard at my current salary whenever I was not in school.

Those students at the time who took a shipyard scholarship were obligated to come back after graduating. My football friends became electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, structural engineers, marine engineers and my best friend became an architect.

None of us would give up our experience in the apprentice school for any of the degrees that followed.

Go Builders and good luck, Jaylen!

George Bristol

Boones Mill