BY KATIE VANES FOR PEARL HARBOR NAVAL SHIPYARD PUBLIC AFFAIRS – Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard awarded scholarships to four high-potential blue-collar workers that pay them full-time wages while they attend University of Hawaii campuses to pursue engineering degrees.
Marine Machinery Mechanics Russell Shigeoka and William Segall, Sheet Metal Mechanic Jayme Navor and Machinist Daniel McMaster are this year’s recipients of command-sponsored Apprentice-to-Engineer (A2E) Scholarships. The four-year scholarships, in addition to paying for their regular salaries, cover the cost of tuition, books, and other education-related expenses.
“Our unique Apprentice-to-Engineering Scholarship enables our men and women to apply their technical skills acquired in apprenticeship to our Navy’s engineering needs,” said Shipyard Commander Capt. Brian Osgood. “Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard provides a means for blue-collar workers to continue their formal education beyond apprenticeship and obtain an engineering degree. In return, our Shipyard receives qualified engineers with great practical experience.”
Shigeoka, Segall, Navor and McMaster are all recent graduates of the Shipyard’s apprentice program. The four-year program prepares trainees for careers in the skilled trades, such as welders, electricians, machinists and sheet metal mechanics.
Upon graduating from the University of Hawaii, the four workers will be employed as engineers at the Shipyard, which has awarded nine full-ride scholarships since the A2E program started in 2009.
“You shouldn’t do a job unless you’re happy doing it – but you should also never be satisfied,” said Segall, a Pearl City resident and former machinist’s mate in the Navy. “This was the best opportunity because it allows us to move up. I’m glad to be working with (the marine machinist) shop, but supporting them from the engineering side.”
McMaster, a Navy Reservist who lives in Honolulu, called the scholarship “a great opportunity that you can’t pass up.”
Navor, also of Honolulu, said, “The A2E Scholarship allows me to further my education and improve myself so I can better my career. The program gives more opportunities to move up and laterally to other positions in the Shipyard.”
Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard is a full-service naval shipyard and regional maintenance center for the U.S. Navy’s surface ships and submarines. It is the largest industrial employer in the state of Hawaii with a combined civilian and military workforce of about 4,900 and an operating budget of $563 million.
Strategically located in the mid-Pacific, the Shipyard is about a week of steam time closer to potential major regional contingencies in East Asia than sites on the West Coast.
For more information on the Shipyard, visit www.navsea.navy.mil/shipyards/pearl.