Ho'okele Staff | Aug 20, 2012
U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye was the keynote speaker as Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PHNSY & IMF) graduated 123 employees from its apprentice program at a ceremony Aug. 10 at Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
Inouye described the economic, political and military importance of the Asia-Pacific region. “The role of the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard becomes more vital … in maintaining the security of this nation,” he said.
The graduates, representing 24 shops and 20 trades, completed four-year, full-time, paid apprenticeships that combined academic study with on-the-job work experience. They earned associate’s degrees from Honolulu Community College as well as certification in their respective trades from the Navy and U.S. Department of Labor. Graduates transitioned to mechanic or journeyworker status in shipyard jobs that pay an average of nearly $30 an hour.
“Welcome to your new role as leaders,” said Capt. Brian Osgood, shipyard commander, as he congratulated the graduates. “You represent, and are, the people the Navy needs today. You have the desire to solve complex problems with your hands, and you have the critical thinking skills needed to be the future of our Navy maintainers,” Osgood said.
Atamante Edralin Jr., shop 38 marine machinery mechanic, and Anastasia Kritikos, shop 67 electronics mechanic, delivered remarks on behalf of the apprentice class.
Edralin, a former pre school director, recalled that four years ago he and most of his apprentice classmates had little or no knowledge of the trade they were about to enter. He said his apprenticeship taught him one of the truths in life. “Every day is another opportunity to learn something new,” he said.
Kritikos shared her dream as a high schooler. “I wanted to help and save lives and make a difference,” she said. She explained that when she was in college, she was in a motorcycle accident that nearly killed her, and she almost lost her scholarship and job due to her injuries. The shipyard apprentice program gave Kritikos another opportunity to realize her dream.
“With every day that I come to work, I’m helping to protect and save lives and make a difference, not just for myself and my daughter, not just for those I work with, but also for our Navy and our nation,” she said.