Before Micah enrolled in a welding training program at Tidewater Community College, he was working a job at a septic company. Only six months on the job, he decided to change his career path and get trained in something different.
“I thought that welding would be a good job to go into,” Micah said. “I heard the shipyard was a good career path because there are all kinds of different ways to progress and grow there. I also wanted to learn a good trade.”
Micah participated in a training program at TCC that is connected to the Newport News Shipyard. This partnership allows trainees like Micah to complete a three-week program at the college before transitioning over to the welding school at the shipyard. In the FastForward program, Micah learned welding basics which gave him a good foundational grasp on the craft before heading into on-site work.
“It’s really good, it definitely gives you an advantage over just going into the [shipyard] training program – you can jump in there with a grasp of what you’re doing,” he said.
Micah now is working on the USS John F. Kennedy, which as of February 2018 is in its seventh year of construction and is 70 percent complete.
And as for recommending FastForward training to others? Micah is on board and full steam ahead.
“Go for it, because you’re learning a good trade,” he said. “You really have nothing to lose.”