Northrop Grumman breaks ground on new maritime trades academy - - The News for South Mississippi

Northrop Grumman breaks ground on new maritime trades academy

(Photo source: Northrop Grumman) (Photo source: Northrop Grumman)

By Patrice Clark – bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) – Mississippi's largest private employer is building its first Maritime Academy in Jackson County. Northrop Grumman expects the school to help better educate future shipbuilders.

"The public schools have pretty much given up on a lot of vocational programs," Northrop Grumman's Irwin F. Edenzon said. "One of the most important classes I have ever had in my whole academic career was shop class, and a lot of high school kids can't get that these days." 

A $20 million HUD block grant is paying for state of the art facility. The school will offer 1,000 students new technology tools and a lot of hands on trades and courses to help shape their careers. 

"Use their heads, their hands, and their hearts to be part of something that is larger than each of them as individuals," Northrop Grumman official Mike Petters said. 

Governor Barbour sees this investment as a way to expand the shipbuilding workforce. 

"There is a tremendous maritime industry on this coast," Barbour said. "A lot metal trades that are applicable in shipbuilding are also applicable in the energy industry." 

Jackson County leaders expect the new school and jobs to also fuel more spending in the area. 

"Every time we bring a job in to Pascagoula and they spend a dollar, Mississippi gets seven cents out of that dollar," Pascagoula Mayor Robbie Maxwell said. "I am thrilled with the possibility of creating this economic development project."  

Northrop Grumman is partnering with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College to teach workforce training. An apprentice school will also be offered at the Maritime Academy. The school will open its doors to future shipbuilders in 2012. 

To learn more about the Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding-Gulf Coast Apprentice School visit

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