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Hundreds learn about Portsmouth Naval Shipyard job opportunities

Union Leader Correspondent

November 14. 2017 9:34PM
DJ Thornell recruits riggers at the job fair for Portsmouth Naval Shipyard on Tuesday in Eliot, Maine. His department needs crane operators, heavy mobile equipment mechanics and people to work in electronic industrial controls. (KIMBERLEY HAAS/Union Leader Correspondent)

ELIOT, Maine — Hundreds of people showed up to learn more about employment opportunities at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard on Tuesday.

Tables were set up to attract engineers, chemists, control technicians, riggers, mechanics, machinists, welders, painters and plastic fabricators.

By 12:30 p.m., the Regatta Banquet & Conference Center on Route 236 was buzzing with applicants talking to recruiters about open positions.

Andy Roy, who is production resource and planning manager, said the shipyard hopes to hire 800 people within the next 12 to 14 months, and holding a job fair for experienced workers was a good way to get the word out about the variety of career options at the shipyard.

“We’ve got at least a dozen departments represented across the three commands, really, that make up Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. We’ve got Naval facilities folks here, we’ve got Naval security forces folks represented here, and the shipyard proper is represented here with the most amount of disciplines,” Roy said.

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard overhauls and repairs submarines for the Navy. In fiscal year 2017, the shipyard hired 463 people. By the end of 2018, there will be about 6,100 workers at the facility.

Officials say the shipyard is similar to its own small island and that they have to employ people in all disciplines to keep up with workload demand. Engineering recruiter Ed Cormier and Catherine Dill, head of the Diversity and STEM Outreach Division, said they are in local schools teaching children of all ages about the work that is being done there to ensure the next generation of shipyard employees can be found in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts.

“We’re playing the long game,” Cormier said.

Cormier said they encourage employees to mentor youth in their fields, and the shipyard supports STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) field competitions such as FIRST Robotics and the Sea Perch Challenge.

Dill said that they reached 18,000 students last year. Inside classrooms, shipyard employees explain how they use the lessons being taught at every grade level.

Cormier, who is a third-generation shipyard worker, said parents who want their children to be prepared to take a job at the Naval facility should emphasize math, science and English studies.

To see a listing of available opportunities at the shipyard, visit



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