Higher Ed and Businesses Team Up to Deliver Customized Training for Growing Shipbuilding Industry

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NWTC partners with Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding to meet growing need for skilled workforce
NWTC partners with Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding to meet growing need for skilled workforce
In response to the increase in maritime workforce demand, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College has expanded marine manufacturing training to its Sturgeon Bay campus. This expansion is led by the partnership with Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding to offer an employee training program designed to increase the quality and quantity of skilled technicians equipped to advance the maritime manufacturing industry of Northeast Wisconsin.

“Marine manufacturing is a multi-billion-dollar industry in Wisconsin, and relies on a specialized and highly skilled workforce,” said Meridith Jaeger, NWTC vice president of college advancement. “This industry is central to the heritage and growth of Northeast Wisconsin. Through this unique partnership, we are thrilled to work together on building a competitive and industry-leading workforce.”

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding (FBS) is a 63-acre custom-built facility designed for efficient new construction, major conversions, repairs, and sustainment of commercial and government vessels. 

As part of Fincantieri Marine Group, FBS traces its history of building quality ships in Wisconsin back to 1918. Fincantieri is nearing completion on a $300 million capital expansion plan that includes several improvements to the FBS facility, such as a new floating dry dock, computer-aided manufacturing equipment, and climate-controlled manufacturing facilities. 

FBS is internationally recognized for innovative and highly efficient, modular, subassembly-line manufacturing techniques. Their sophisticated construction methods have allowed FBS to build some of the most technologically advanced vessels on the planet. 

“As the largest employer in the county, FBS is excited to collaborate with NWTC on this innovative training program,” stated Craig Perciavalle, vice president and general manager of Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding. “By implementing this in Sturgeon Bay, we hope to increase the number of skilled technical employees equipped to advance their careers and the shipbuilding industry.”

The five-week course at the NWTC Sturgeon Bay campus includes specialized training on the dynamic skills and competencies necessary to succeed in the maritime industry. The curriculum consists of advanced welding and fabrication techniques which results in an NWTC Welding Certificate for participants.

Industry analysts contend that the shipbuilding industry supports nearly 10,000 sustainable jobs, produces $2.2 billion for the local economy, and generates more than $635 million in workers' compensation. Wisconsin is ranked among the top 20 states nationwide as a leading employer for maritime careers. 

NWTC is designated a Center of Excellence for Domestic Maritime Workforce Training and Education, by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration. As the only designated Center of Excellence on the Great Lakes, the College is committed to serving the region’s growing shipbuilding industry with initiatives like operating the North Coast Marine Manufacturing Training Center®, offering maritime safety training, contract training for Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, and being an active member of the North Coast Marine Manufacturing Alliance and National Maritime Workforce Alliance. 

FBS offers a wide variety of rewarding career opportunities, and seeks more positions within the skilled trades, supporting labor, engineering, and management positions. To learn more about open positions and to apply, visit fincantierimarinegroup.com/careers. 

For further information about starting your career in this field or to upskill your industry skillset through NWTC’s Corporate Training and Economic Development program, visit nwtc.edu. 
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