Students complete Savannah Tech’s first U.S. Army transitioning service member welding cohort sponsored by Huntington Ingalls Industries

Savannah, GA – Four months after starting welding training with Savannah Technical College, six U.S. Army transitioning service members have job offers with Huntington Ingalls Industries in Pascagula, Miss. and in Newport News, Va.

“Employers value and understand the work ethic that service members bring to the job,” said STC Military Outreach Coordinator Jeff Ashmen. “But quite often separating service members lack the technical skills necessary for employment. Savannah Technical College’s career skills program is an opportunity for active duty service members to get retooled to quality for jobs after military service.”

The College’s welding training for these students was provided through state and federal grants, along with additional funding from Huntington Ingalls Industries. Students attended welding classes during their normal duty day, Mondays – Thursdays. Commander approval and pre-employment screening were required for them to participate. Training occurred as part of the Soldier for Life VOW Act and became the soldier’s place of duty.

“The partnership between Fort Stewart, Huntington Ingalls Industries, and Savannah Technical College provides soldiers and families with a wonderful opportunity to prepare for their post active duty careers and begin the next part of their lives,” said Geoff Miller, President of Transitions Assistant Support, LLC.

During the 16-week full-time program including hands-on, competency-based structural and pipe welding instruction, students completed 32 college hours and earned five welding technical certificates of credit (TCC): Basic Shielded Metal Arc Welder, Vertical Shielded Metal Arc Welder, Advanced Shielded Metal Arc Welder, Flux Cored Arc Welder, and Gas Tungsten Arc Welder TCCs.

“Huntington Ingalls Industries remains committed to becoming a leadership factory,” said Fred Howell, Huntington Ingalls Industries Director of Talent Acquisition.  “Through our partnership with Savannah Technical College, Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, we are creating great shipbuilders, but more importantly, we are creating future leaders for our organization.”

Transitioning service members, who participate in welding training completion, will have a high probability of employment with Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi or Newport News, Va.; will be tested at the end of the training period prior to final job offer; will be offered a job opportunity upon successful completion of the training; and will continue with on-the-job training while working with experienced craftsmen at Ingalls.

The average starting salary for pipe welders is $19.46 per hour or $40,476.80 annually.

The next welding cohort begins October 11, 2017. For more information about military services or enrollment, visit or contact STC’s Military Outreach Coordinator Jeff Ashmen (912.443.4155 or Eligible students may qualify for additional stipends, under provisions established under the post 9/11 GI Bill. Please consult with a VA representative or visit for further information.

Savannah Technical College is a regionally accredited Institution of Higher Learning and approved to participate and administer Veteran’s Education Assistance programs.

Ranked #1 in the U.S. as “Best for Vets” in 2016 by Military Times for Career & Technical Colleges, Savannah Technical College has the largest enrollment of military-affiliated students in the Technical College System of Georgia. One in four STC students is a veteran, active duty service member or a military dependent/spouse. The College waives all general mandatory fees for active duty service members using military tuition assistance. In 2015, the College opened a Veteran’s Service Center at the Savannah campus.

About Huntington Ingalls Industries (Pascagoula, Miss.)

For 78 years, the employees of Ingalls Shipbuilding facilities have pioneered the development and production of technologically advanced, highly capable warships for the surface Navy fleet, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Marine Corps, and foreign and commercial customers. Ingalls Shipbuilding is the largest manufacturing employer in the state of Mississippi and a major contributor to the economic growth of the state Alabama as well. For more information, please visit


#1808 | September 29, 2017

STC Military Services Coordinator: Jeff Ashmen
912.443.4155 or

Media Contact: Amy Shaffer, APR
912.443.5512 or

Savannah Technical College serves Coastal Georgia with quality, market-driven technical education with campus locations in Chatham, Effingham and Liberty Counties. Serving more than 10,000 credit and non-credit students annually, Savannah Tech offers nearly 150 different instructional programs in Aviation Technology, Business and Professional Services, Industrial Technology, and Health Sciences in addition to Adult Education classes, industry-specific training and continuing education. The College serves as an economic and community development partner for the region, offering corporate and customized training and assessment programs for business and industry.

Savannah Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees, diplomas and technical certificates of credit. Questions about the accreditation of Savannah Technical College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (