Already well known for its support in serving the U.S. Military’s warship needs for more than 75 years, DirectEmployers Member Ingalls Shipbuilding wanted to go one step further to assist veterans after their selfless dedication to serving their country. Due to an increase in production needs, Ingalls was tasked with hiring 3,000 new craft employees in 2013 and 2014 and turned their attention to veterans who were professionally trained and experienced leaders who could direct employees on projects, as well as take leadership roles in ensuring the company maintained the shipyard priorities of safety, quality, cost, and schedule.
Recognizing that the experience and leadership gained while in the service often exceeds the skills needed to fulfill entry-level positions, the Ingalls Talent Acquisition team committed to making veteran hires a priority and the Fast Track Foreman program was thus born. This program was designed to take veteran applicants from the enlisted ranks E-6 or above and transition them to become leaders among shipbuilders. Through this program, veterans undergo six months of paid training introducing them to not only the shipbuilding industry, but also ways to leverage their leadership skills to lead a team as front line foremen.
In addition to the professional development and training, the leaders of the Fast Track Program also act as a support system for all other veterans within the company.
As a result of its implementation, the Fast Track Foreman program helped to increase veteran hires from 7% to just over 15% in one year. In addition, the quality of hires in the front line foreman positions increased due to the work ethic, dedication and leadership of the veterans holding the positions. As a result, Ingalls hopes to see long-term benefits in increased retention rates, improved candidate pools and greater diversity and inclusion.
Congratulations to Ingalls Shipbuilding on their world-class veteran hiring program and for being a recipient of a 2014 DirectEmployers Member Award! Want to learn more about Ingalls’ award-winning initiative? Join them for an exclusive, Members-only webinar this Thursday, February 19 at 2:00pm EST. Sign in to Pipeline and register now to reserve your spot!
Kacie Clark is a Marketing Manager specializing in social media and communications for DirectEmployers Association.