Suzanne S. Youngkin, the first lady of Virginia, meets students at The Apprentice School. Photo courtesy of the Office of the First Lady of Virginia

Virginia’s First Lady Visits The Apprentice School

Published November 23, 2022

Suzanne S. Youngkin, the first lady of Virginia, visited The Apprentice School at Newport News Shipbuilding Thursday, Nov. 17, for a roundtable discussion as part of her newly announced Women+girls (W+g) campaign.

Youngkin joined Dr. Latitia McCane, director of education at The Apprentice School, and panelists with an audience of female high schoolers and their school counselors to learn more about the school’s training programs.

“The Apprentice School at Newport News Shipbuilding is a shining example of best-in-class training programs and educational opportunities for Virginia’s workers. Led by a remarkable woman and providing tools to girls seeking sustainable work in in-demand jobs, we celebrate its positive impact on workforce preparedness here in the commonwealth,” Youngkin said.

McCane said The Apprentice School develops future shipyard leaders. “As the first lady focuses on opportunities for young women, I hope many will consider the skilled trades we are hiring for right now,” she said. “There are more opportunities now than ever before for women with technical skills to not only secure high-paying jobs today, but to advance into leadership roles over the course of their careers. Having a diverse workforce comprising a wide variety of skills, abilities, experiences and perspectives is essential to our shipbuilding success at HII.”

Virginia Secretary of Administration Lyn McDermid is a former NNS apprentice. “I credit my experience as one of the first women to enter The Apprentice School at Newport News Shipbuilding with giving me the courage to take a path less traveled – one leading to a long and fulfilling career,” she said.

Through Women+girls (W+g), Youngkin is focused on connecting, celebrating and championing Virginia’s women and girls through two, primary pillars of focus: wellbeing and workforce. Visit to learn more.