Stephanie Williams of Shawano was working in what she calls “more or less, a dead-end job” when she decided it was time for a change – for herself and her kids.
NWTC and Fincantieri Sign Long-Term Partnership to Grow Shipbuilding Industry
NWTC and Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding (FBS) are expanding their partnership to advance the maritime manufacturing industry and meet growing workforce demand within the region.
“This partnership is important as we continue to grow, hire and retain the best workforce in the region,” said FBS Vice President and General Manager Jan Allman. “When it comes to upskilling our employees, we believe it is important to have community-based training with experienced, highly-skilled instructors like those at NWTC.”
In fall 2022, the partners designed a specialized training program for FBS employees to advance their welding and ship/pipe-fitting techniques. Since the launch, 97 participants have successfully completed this five-week course offered through the NWTC Sturgeon Bay campus. This course serves as an entry point on a path to becoming a skilled, professional tradesperson with a family-sustaining job. In all, 106 participants completed a total of almost 15,000 hours of training in the past year.
With the success of this pilot training program, the partners have solidified a one-year contract and expanded in areas of higher student capacity, longer course curriculum, and more.
“The maritime industry supports thousands of jobs in Northeast Wisconsin each year and is a multi-billion-dollar industry statewide,” said Jim Draeger, NWTC dean of corporate training and economic development. “Strengthening our area workforce through customized training is vital to our region’s economic growth. NWTC is thrilled to continue our work with FBS and build an industry-leading workforce.”
Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding has years of work underway and planned, such as building additional LNG bunkering barges and critically important SOVs, which are vessels that transport technicians to service and sustain power-producing wind turbines at sea. FBS also assists sister-shipyard, Fincantieri Marinette Marine, by building large hull sections of Constellation-class frigates for the U.S. Navy.
As part of Fincantieri Marine Group, FBS built its rich shipbuilding history in Wisconsin over more than a decade. The FBS shipyard in Sturgeon Bay is a 63-acre, custom-built facility designed for efficient new construction, major conversions, repairs, and sustainment of commercial and government vessels.
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 booming shipbuilding industry. The College also operates the North Coast Marine Manufacturing Training Center®, offers maritime safety training, and contracts training for Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette.
“NWTC has the flexibility and agility to quickly meet industry needs through customized training with our business partners, as evident by our continued partnership with FBS. Our college is excited for future growth with the FBS training program to mirror our many successes with all industries across the district,” said Draeger.
FBS offers a wide variety of rewarding career opportunities, and seeks more candidates for their skilled trades, supporting labor, engineering, and management positions. To learn more about open positions and to apply, visit fincantierimarinegroup.com/careers.
For more information about starting a career in shipbuilding or upskilling your workforce through Corporate Training and Economic Development at NWTC, visit nwtc.edu/cted.
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