SUFFOLK -- Tidewater Community College is doing its part to prepare the Hampton Roads' maritime industry's skilled trade laborers of tomorrow.

TCC is partnering with four other community colleges in Eastern Virginia and Newport News Shipbuilding on the new mobile lab for shipyard training.

The 40-foot-long, 18-wheeler trailer will be used to teach future shipbuilders and ship repair workers the skills necessary to construct and maintain military and commercial vessels.

'The whole industry is going to change as the workforce ages and our skilled trades people are going to be exiting the work force,' said Lea Anne Nelson, director of continuing education at TCC's Division of Work Force Development in Suffolk. 'So what we're going to be doing here is really developing and nurturing the next set of talent.'

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Marine Skilled Mobile Laboratory is scheduled for Monday, September 16, at 9 a.m. at the TCC campus off College Drive in Suffolk.

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