Expanding the Navy fleet to 355 ships will require bipartisan support in Congress, about $102 billion each year for the foreseeable future and more people like Sharon Fraser of Newport News.
The jury is still out on Congress and the budget, but Fraser is doing her part.
The 24-year-old tried college and found it too expensive. Working as a shift manager at Taco Bell, she opted to enroll in a program at Tidewater Community College that trains welders. It worked.
“I actually wanted to challenge myself and learn something new that I’ve never learned before,” she said. “It’s fun. I like it.”
The hundreds of small- to medium-sized businesses that support Navy ship construction could use more like her. In interviews with the Daily Press, company representatives from Hampton Roads to Texas talked about the challenge of finding welders, machinists, fitters and other workers in the skilled trades if business ramps up as expected.
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