Local educators tour shipyard for annual Manufacturing Day event

Local educators got the chance to tour Newport News Shipbuilding during an annual event on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. (WAVY Photo).

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Local educators on Thursday got the chance to tour Newport News Shipbuilding during an annual event.

The shipyard hosted principals, administrators and teachers from middle and high schools in Hampton Roads for its Manufacturing Day event.

“They can kind of be the cheerleaders for these types of jobs but also they can relate it to their lesson plans,” said Pierrette Swan, who works for Newport News Shipbuilding.

Officials say the event was titled “Celebrating Diversity in Manufacturing: Getting the Girls Involved.”

It included a windshield tour and hands-on demonstrations of different aspects like shipyard trades and integrated digital shipbuilding.

Swan says they invited the more than two dozen educators,from across Hampton Roads, to pass the information along to students.

Swan believes the manufacturing business will soon have a skills gap once Baby Boomers start to retire.

It’s why they’re hoping teachers will take what they learned back to the classroom to recruit students, especially young women.

“We want them to influence, yes the young boys to get jobs in manufacturing, but if we don’t get the young girls involved, we won’t have enough people to fill those jobs,” Swan said.