Four-year Apprentice Program Grads Win Better Shipyard Jobs

As a single mother, Anastasia Kritikos may answer to “Mom,” but as a newly minted graduate of Pearl Harbor Shipyard’s apprenticeship program, you can now call her Shop 67 Electronics Mechanic Kritikos.

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Electronics mechanic graduates (from left) Sharelle Calpito of Ewa Beach, Natalie Kamikawa-Cristobal of Wahiawa and Anastasia Kritikos of Pearl City celebrate their graduation Aug. 10 from the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility apprenticeship program.

Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility graduated 123 employees Aug. 10 in ceremonies that recognized their new status. Kritikos, a Pearl City resident, is part of a group representing 24 shops and 20 trades. Together, they have completed four-year, full-time, paid apprentice- ships of course study and work experience.

At the podium during the ceremony, Kritikos recalled how her high school dream of saving lives and making a difference was nearly shattered after a motorcycle accident in college in 2001, when she was seriously injured and lost both her four- year premed scholarship and her job.

“With every day that I come to work, I’m helping to protect and save lives and make a difference — not just for myself and my daughter, not just for those I work with, but also for our Navy and our nation.”

The class of 2012 earned associate’s degrees from Honolulu Community College as well as certification in their respective trades from the Navy and U.S. Department of Labor. They transitioned to mechanic or journey worker status in shipyard jobs paying an average of nearly $30 an hour.

Also among the graduates were Aiea’s John Jamora, a shipfitter, and Ewa Beach’s Sharelle Lynn Calpito, an electronics mechanic.

As keynote speaker at the event, U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye pointed out the importance of the Asia- Pacific region, and how the shipyard’s role “becomes more vital in maintaining the security of this nation.”

Shipyard commander Capt. Brian Osgood saluted them as leaders that the Navy needs: “You have the desire to solve complex problems with your hands — and you have the critical thinking skills needed to be the future of our Navy maintainers.”