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Naval shipyard looking for apprentices

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The Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard Apprentice and Engineering Job Fair was a big success two years ago at Honolulu Community College, and the event is being held again today.

The Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard has a problem that could prove beneficial to job seekers on Oahu.

The shipyard is anticipating many of its baby boomer employees will retire in the next five to 10 years. Those skilled workers will need to be replaced as the shipyard continues to serv­ice the ships and submarines of the Pacific Fleet.

Today the shipyard will host its annual Pearl Harbor Apprenticeship and Engineering Career Fair.

The shipyard plans to add about 150 employees by the end of the year.

Organizers said positions available include apprentices, equipment specialists and engineering technicians. Professional, analytical and administration positions also are open. In addition, federal police and firefighter recruiters will be on site.

The apprentices go through four years of work and study at Hono­lulu Community College and the shipyard. Apprentices are paid approximately $19 per hour with full federal benefits. At the end of four years, apprentice program graduates will earn $28 or more an hour.

To be eligible, candidates must be U.S. citizens, 18 years of age by January 2012. They must have a high school diploma or its equivalent and pass a physical exam, security clearance and ASSET Test in math and English.

The shipyard is the largest industrial employer in the state, with a combined civilian and military work force of about 4,800 and an operating budget of $563 million.

At the peak of a shipyard career as a department head or other senior manager, a worker who started as an apprentice can make more than $140,000 a year.

Approximately 90 percent of the shipyard’s work is on submarines.

Additional information about the career fair can be found at navsea.navy.mil/shipyards/Pearl. For information on Hono­lulu Community College, visit hono­lulu.hawaii.edu.

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