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Friday, November 16, 2012

VT Halter Marine, Inc.




VT Halter Marine, Inc. is a modern and progressive shipbuilding subsidiary of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc. VT Halter Marine is a leading world-class shipbuilder providing a wide inventory of diversified, high-tech maritime products to U.S. and international markets. They have the world’s largest capacity for small to medium size ship construction and can meet even the most challenging design and construction schedules. VT Halter Marine shipyards have delivered over 3,000 vessels to commercial and government clients in 29 countries on five continents. The company is located in Moss Point, Mississippi and has around 400 employees.

The Challenge

VT Halter Marine remains one of several shipbuilders on the Mississippi Gulf Coast struggling with maintaining a sufficient numbers of highly skilled craftsmen. The company contacted the Mississippi Manufacturing Extension Partnership (, a NIST MEP affiliate, for help and assistance in recruiting and retaining highly skilled welders.

MEP Center's Role

The Center at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC) developed a technical program to educate and train potential employees as high-skilled welders, and other maritime related technicians for VT Halter Marine, in support of the company's pursuit of new shipbuilding contracts. The scope of this project included both pre- and post-employment training and certification of technicians to meet both American Welding Society and stringent company requirements. As a result of' assistance, the company can now send individuals to their pre-employment training program, located at Center at MGCCC for the basic skills needed for employment. The program in turn will send the individual back to the company when the individual has acquired the skills needed for entry level employment. VT Halter Marine also has an in-plant assessment and training program in which they train and test new employees and support current employees in upgrading their skills. An (on-the-job training) instructor works directly with employees that need help in performing their job, an effort which has proven to be very beneficial in retaining new employees.


• $353M increase in sales
• Cost savings of $992,000
• Creation of skills readiness employment program
• Improved training for current employees

“We value the Center and their resources and consider them a key partner in the continued success of our company and the community.”

Mike Leleux, Training Director