Industry: Aviation, Automotive & Defense Business Need: Recruiting & Efficiency, Retention & Productivity

Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, a leading global security company, created the Apprentice School to develop a reliable source of highly skilled, technical workers and future leaders in shipbuilding and repair.

case study pdf


Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding needed to replace a retiring workforce with new hires equipped for the technological challenges of nuclear-powered shipbuilding.


In conjunction with education institutions and professional organizations, Northrop Grumman created the Apprentice School to provide workforce-readiness training and job-specific and career development programs for its potential new hires and employees. Eighty percent of graduates are still employed after five years and 70 percent are still employed after 15 years and current graduates serve in 240 different leadership jobs within the company.


  • Proven succession planning: over 14% of total workforce are graduates
  • Higher retention rates: 80% of graduates still employed after five years
  • Stronger career mobility



Note:  The Apprentice School was founded and operated originally by Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company in Newport News, Virginia.  It was then purchased by Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding and most recently sold to Huntington Ingalls Industry who is still running the school.


Source: Corporate Voices for Working Families. Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding Case Study. 2010.

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