Governor Wolf Visits Philly Shipyard Apprentice Training Academy on Jobs That Pay Tour

June 01, 2017

Philadelphia, PA – Governor Wolf today visited the Philly Shipyard Apprentice Training Academy and shipbuilding facility in Philadelphia as part of his Jobs That Pay tour. The Philly Shipyard has had a formal apprenticeship program since 2004 and opened its training academy in 2016.

“The history and legacy of the shipbuilding industry is alive and thriving at Philly Shipyard,” Gov. Wolf said. “To see these apprentices at work, both as first-year trainees in the welding booths of the training academy and as second- and third-year apprentices working on ships, is magnificent, and an exciting look at jobs that pay in Pennsylvania.”

The Philly Shipyard encompasses 114 acres of the former Philadelphia Naval Yard and was completely rebuilt in 1998. Since the facility began production in 2000, the shipyard has delivered 26 ships representing more than 50 percent of all ocean-going commercial ships delivered in U.S. shipyards during that time.

The shipyard’s apprentice program consists of classroom training and an independent learning environment, including welding stations where apprentices learn various type of welding techniques. The program is accredited by the State of Pennsylvania and 100 percent of the cost of related instruction is paid for by the company. There are currently 75 apprentices in the program.

Applicants must be 18+ years of age, a high school graduate or have a high school equivalency, and meet all physical requirements associated with the job.

Realizing the importance of apprenticeships as a means of creating career pathways for job seekers and skilled workers for employers, Governor Wolf has included an apprenticeship grant program in his 2017-18 budget. Funded with revenue recovered by the Department of Community and Economic Development from companies that fail to live up to previous commitments made when they received state assistance, businesses can seek grant funding of up to $2,000 for each apprentice employed pursuant to an apprenticeship agreement registered with the Office of Apprenticeship in the United States Department of Labor.

The grant program – both for those leaving the K-12 education system and those transitioning into a new industry sector – can receive training aligned to business workforce needs, so workers are not training just to train, but have a job, a career path established.

The Wolf Administration established the Apprenticeship Training Office at the Department of Labor & Industry last year. The office, which is responsible for providing outreach, education, and technical support to current and prospective apprenticeship program sponsors and apprentices, has added 1,599 new apprentices and 58 new registered apprenticeship occupations statewide.

These smart initiatives are helping to swing the apprenticeship pendulum in the right direction – toward helping both workers and employers achieve lasting success.

For more information on the Philly Shipyard apprentice program, visit

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