The Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii has announced that is has 175 open positions ranging from apprentice to engineer, and plans to fill all positions by the end of the year. The shipyard already employs close to 5,000 people.

A job fair is scheduled for March 27th from 8 until noon at the Honolulu Community College on Dillingham Boulevard. All interested individuals are encouraged to attend and learn more about the job openings. At least 100 apprentices are needed by January of 2011, and there are close to 80 other positions, such as engineer assistant, that the shipyard is hoping to fill.

An apprenticeship at the shipyard is structured like a four-year work-study program that allows individuals to be paid while earning their degree in applied science from Honolulu Community College and, at the same time, learn a specific trade at the shipyard. Average starting pay for an apprentice is close to twenty dollars, and graduates of the four-year program have the ability to earn an additional nine dollars per hour.

In addition to apprenticeships, the shipyard is looking for engineers and related workers, and is offering a starting salary of between $45,000 and $68,000 annually depending on qualifications. Engineers, naval architects, welders, electricians, mechanical experts, and nuclear engineers are welcome to apply; there are also openings for physical science techs, equipment specialists, and engineering technicians. These are full-time positions, but two-year internships are also offered, with the opportunity to be hired full-time when the internship period ends.

The Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard has a rich history in Hawaii, with historians stating that the shipyard dates back to the 1800s. Back then, Pearl Harbor was called “Wai-Momi,” or “Water of the Pearl.” In 1891, President Harrison suggested that Congress consider developing Pearl Harbor and building a naval station because the country had such an interest in exploring the Pacific islands. In 1908, Congress designated $3 million to go towards the creation and development of Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, Territory of Hawaii, and since then, the Naval Shipyard has housed naval vessels and seen two unbelievable wars. The United States fleet was reconstructed here in 1941 after Pearl Harbor was attacked and WWII began.

Like all of the American shipyards, the Pearl Harbor Naval Yard was unfortunately a site of asbestos exposure for thousands of civilian workers and members of the military. Asbestos was used extensively on naval ships [most specifically as insulation around steam and other pipes] until the institution of asbestos-usage laws in the 1980s. An unknown number of men and women were exposed while working at U.S. shipyards, and many developed mesothelioma, a fatal form of cancer, as a result. In fact, about 30% of all mesothelioma sufferers are also Navy veterans.

Mesothelioma is a disease that does not receive the same amount of media attention as other forms of cancer, but it is a very real threat to veterans, former shipyard workers, sailors, and all other individuals who worked in an industry where asbestos exposure was prevalent [construction, firefighters, pipefitters, plumbers, automobile repair, etc.].

And, asbestos exposure still presents a health threat to our men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, as the export of asbestos to these nations is not banned, and there are no asbestos-usage laws there.

Interested in applying at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard?

You may contact them:

Job Information Center, Human Resource Office: https://chart.donhr.navy.mil or https://acep.hawaii.navy.mil, or send an email to victoria.nagasawa@navy.mil.