Waimanalo Man Completes Shipyard Apprenticeship

[media-credit name=”Photo by Marshall Fukuki” align=”alignleft” width=”200″][/media-credit]

As a former preschool director, Atamante Edralin Jr. may have answered to “Mr. Ata,” but as a newly minted graduate of Pearl Harbor Shipyard’s apprenticeship program, you can now call him Shop 38 Marine Machinery Mechanic Edralin.Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility graduated 123 employees Aug. 10 in ceremonies that recognized their new status. Edralin, a Waimanalo resident, is part of a group representing 24 shops and 20 trades. Together, they have completed four-year, full-time, paid apprenticeships of course study and work experience.

At the podium, he recalled that four years ago, he and most of his classmates had little or no knowledge of the trade they were about to enter. The experience, he said, taught him that one of the truths in life is “every day is another opportunity to learn something new.”

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 journeyworker status in shipyard jobs paying an average of nearly $30 an hour.

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.”