Community college offers marine welding training at Smithfield High

Published 6:34 pm Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Residents of Isle of Wight County will be able to attend Marine Trades Training (MTT) Welding courses in their own backyard beginning in June.

Paul D. Camp Community College and Isle of Wight County Schools have signed a Memorandum of Agreement to provide this training at Smithfield High School beginning June 21.

“Camp and Isle of Wight County Schools recognize the significant opportunity for students to secure employment with family sustaining wages in the Hampton Roads shipbuilding and ship repair industry, and the critical need to create more clearly defined pathways for workforce preparation and employment,” the agreement states.

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The MTT program — delivered in partnership with the Virginia Ship Repair Association (VSRA), Camp Community College, Tidewater Community College, and Thomas Nelson Community College — has operated since 2017 with impressive results. The MTT program has trained over 2,100 participants in six trades for employment in the shipbuilding and ship repair industry with a 90% hire rate for those who complete the training.

“Because of the successful results of the MTT program in Hampton Roads, we feel this will also be an asset to the Isle of Wight community,” said Dr. Toni Johnson, Director of Workforce Development at Camp Community College. “This training leads to sustainable careers and we are able to provide it close to home. We are grateful to form this partnership with Isle of Wight County Schools.”

Camp, VSRA, and the Hampton Roads Workforce Council (HRWC) will work with each participant to pre-screen for employment in the shipbuilding and ship repair industry, establish eligibility for welding course funding, provide skilled trades training, and to identify and needed supportive services up to $2,250 per participant. Each participant will also receive employment services with the goal of securing a job offer for all students after completing the training.

Those interested in participating in the program can call 757-681-8974 or go to