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Maritime: Shipbuilding & Repair

Making Waves in the Maritime Industry

Given its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, and vast network of smaller waterways, the Hampton Roads region has a long and reputable history in shipbuilding. It is home to several world-renowned shipyards, including Norfolk Naval Shipyard and Huntington Ingalls – Newport News Shipyard, the largest shipbuilder in the United States and only manufacturer of nuclear aircraft carriers in the world. It is also home to many ship repairers and ship repair subcontractors such as General Dynamics NASSCO, Fairlead Integrated and Colonna’s Shipyard. With a steady stream of graduates in speciality shipbuilding related programs, Hampton Roads’ performance continues to make a splash in the maritime industry.

Did You Know?

The largest Navy base in the world is located in Norfolk, VA

Maritime Assets

Huntington Ingalls Industries / Newport News Shipbuilding

The Huntington Ingall Ingalls/Newport News Shipyard is the largest shipbuilding company in the United States. It serves as the sole provider of U.S Navy aircraft carriers and one of two providers of U.S Navy submarines. It employs more than 20,000 individuals and has built over 800 ships using state-of-the-art engineering.

The Only Shipyard in the Country Capable of Building Nuclear Aircraft Carriers and One of Two Yards Capable of Building Nuclear Submarines


Port of Virginia

The Port of Virginia is the 3rd busiest port on the East Coast of the United States, processing 2.80 million TEUs annually. It has a depth of 50 feet, which will soon be expanded to 55 feet by 2024, making it the deepest channel on the East Coast. Nearly 30 international shipping lines offer direct, dedicated service to and from Virginia, with connections to 200+ countries around the world. In an average week, more than 40 international containers, breakbulk and roll-on / roll-off vessels are serviced at its marine terminals.

Norfolk Naval Shipyard

Founded in Portsmouth, VA in 1767, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, is the U.S. Navy’s oldest shipyard and is often credited with being the birthplace of naval technology. It is also the largest and most multifaceted industrial facility owned by the U.S. Navy.

Naval Station Norfolk

Naval Station Norfolk, the world’s largest naval complex, supports the operational readiness of the US Atlantic Fleet. It is home to 75 ships and 134 aircraft alongside 14 piers and 11 aircraft hangers. Naval Station Norfolk is home to Commander, Naval Air Force, US Atlantic Fleet, Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic as well as the Defense Department’s largest supply center.

Newport News

Industry Spotlight: Huntington Ingalls / Newport News Shipbuilding

Huntington Ingalls Industries/Newport News Shipbuilding was founded in 1886 and have since become the largest shipbuilding company in the United States. They are the sole designer, builder and refueler of U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and one of two providers of U.S. navy submarines. In 2018, the company announced they would be creating 2,000 net new jobs over the course of four years. They anticipate hiring almost 7,000 people with these new job creations. This expansion will bring their total workforce to 25,000. In addition to the hiring initiative they will retrain employees to incorporate new digital shipbuilding technology and make nearly $1 billion in capital investments in the company’s facilities and technology systems.

Workforce Development

The region’s post-secondary education system is very supportive of the maritime industry. Each year, hundreds of students graduate with a specialized marine skill set, ready to set sail into the workforce.

Source: LightCast, 2022 Data Data

Higher Education

The Apprentice School at Newport News Shipbuilding

The Apprentice School, founded in 1919 at Newport News Shipbuilding, is the preeminent apprenticeship program in the nation and offers four, five, and eight-year apprenticeships in 19 shipbuilding disciplines and eight advanced programs of study. The Apprentice School is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education and registered with the Virginia Apprenticeship Council. The school offers apprentices the opportunity to earn college credit, receive competitive pay and benefits and learn a trade.

Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University has a robust engineering program, producing highly educated and talented graduates. Specific to maritime, they offer a Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering graduate certificate to help individuals hone their skills.

Tidewater Community College

Tidewater Community College (TCC) is the largest provider of higher education and workforce services in Hampton Roads and second largest in Virginia enrolling nearly 33,000 students with one third comprised of military affiliated students. TCC’s Maritime Technologies program provides the training and certifications needed for careers in the shipbuilding industry.

Supporting Associations

Further support and endorsement of the maritime industry is provided by a network of associations.
Old Dominion University’s (ODU) Maritime Institute

ODU’s Maritime Institute’s mission is to provide world quality maritime, ports and logistics management education, training and research to meet regional, national and international needs.

Maritime Industrial Base Ecosystem (MIBE)

MIBE mobilizes regional partnerships needed to help Hampton Roads expand its maritime sustainment and modernization capabilities while aligning with coastal commercial port and offshore wind needs.

Southeast Maritime Transportation (SMART) Center
SMART is a National Science Foundation Advanced Technology Education Center, solely focused on increasing the number of well-qualified, skilled technicians in the maritime and transportation industry.
Virginia Maritime Association (VMA)
The VMA was organized in 1920 to promote, protect and encourage international and domestic commerce through the ports of Virginia. With a membership of over 400 companies employing over 70,000 Virginians, the VMA advocates for the continued growth of the port.
Virginia Ship Repair Association (VSRA)
VSRA is a regional trade association representing over 285 member companies engaged in, or supporting, the ship repair industry in Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic region. Its mission is to focus and coordinate member resources on issues, challenges, and opportunities facing the ship repair industry in Virginia and across the nation.