THE PRIVATE-SECTOR ship repair and shipbuilding industry contributes more than $6 billion to Virginia’s economy, providing roughly 40,000 high-paying jobs and more than $2.3 billion in annual wages. Our workers earn an average annual income of $81,531.
These numbers are significant, and they illustrate the importance of Virginia’s ship repair and shipbuilding industrial base to our economy, work force and national security.
Parents and educators generally understand there are many pathways to career success and economic security — most of which do not require a four-year college degree. For many individuals, work in a trade is the way to happiness, prosperity and enormous personal success. Consider: Skilled trades workers exiting an apprenticeship typically earn $5,000 to $6,000 more per year than their college-graduate counterparts, and tend to do so without accruing the burdens of student loan debt along the way.