PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - With thousands of employees working at Ingalls Shipbuilding, there are bound to be some generational shipbuilders passing down the trade. One family has been with Ingalls from the beginning and is now four generations deep in the shipbuilding industry.
Shipbuilding runs deep in the roots of the Dale family tree.
“Pipe fitting has been my life. Been my family’s life,” said Lionel Dale III. He followed in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps to work on building military ships at the state’s largest private employer.
“Two years after high school, I came through Ingalls apprenticeship. I hired in as a helper for six months and transferred into an apprenticeship,” said Dale. That was in 1986, and the apprenticeship was under Arlin Richards, a man who was trained by Dale’s grandfather.
“I worked for his grandpa when I was an apprentice in '81 in the pipe shop,” said Richard.
Richard said Dale’s grandfather was a serious shipbuilder and one who started with the shipyard right around the time it was getting into business in the 40′s.
“He didn’t believe in doing something twice,” said Richard.
He passed that work ethic down to his son who passed it down to his son. Now, Dale III’s son works at the shipyard, too, making him the fourth generation on not only his dad’s side but his mom’s side as well.
Dale said the legacies of these families are a testament to how good the company is to its employees.
“They put many a meal on the table for everybody. It’s good wages, good work, and good benefits,” he said.
According to Richard, there’s way more where that came from.
“There’s work for more generations to come. This shipyard will always be here,” said Richard, which would make it possible to continue that legacy for years and years to come.