The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Marinette campus is set to become a training ground for the shipbuilding industry, just as the U.S. military is gearing up for new capabilities.
UW-System President Tommy Thompson traveled to Marinette Thursday and invited Fincantieri Marinette Marine Chief Executive Mark Vandroff to join him in announcing a new two-year certificate program in electrical engineering technology that will be offered at the Marinette campus. The program aims to produce white-collar workers for Fincantieri Marinette Marine and other ship builders.
“We want to be able to help young men and women get engineering courses for two years and hopefully go to work in the shipbuilding industry,” said Thompson, a former Wisconsin governor who said he is retiring from the UW-System position this year.
The new engineering technology program is designed to produce the trained workers Fincantieri Marinette Marine needs to deliver on a new government contract for 10 7,000-ton Constellation ships for the U.S. Navy.
“You only need to look at the headlines and current events today see how important it is that the U.S. maintains superior military capability. We are honored to be part of that at Fincantieri Marinette Marine,” Vandroff said.
“Every business ultimately is a people business. You need people who are educated to get things done,” Vandroff said. The company will need hundreds of trade workers and business professionals to deliver the Constellation ships. “That ship is twice as big as anything we’ve built before,” Vandroff said.