Newport News Shipbuilding 
Beginner level
Intermediate level
Advanced level

Growing next generation lean leaders

Apprentice schools shaping the future


Practitioner Presentation
Wednesday, Nov. 6 Location Code
9:30am-10:30am Regency Ballroom D, West Tower, Ballroom Level WS/21



This session will demonstrate how NNS leadership, employees and students create the foundation for a strong learning environment, coupled with a focus on people-centric leadership. Join us learn more how the NNS Apprentice School leads with a people first approach.


Learn how a major company is able to grow lean leaders with an innovative “Tuition Free” educational approach. Founded in 1919, the Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) Apprentice school has graduated 10, 000 plus students – most who went straight into shipbuilding. There are about 850 people in 19 trades plus 8 advanced optional programs, including marine engineering (bachelor’s degree) and six sports programs. It is accredited by Accrediting Commission of the Council on Occupational Education. Almost 3,000 graduates are among current employees and apprentice graduates hold 44 percent of production management positions. Current enrollment is approximately 35 percent minority, 17 percent women and 7 percent veterans. There is a 75 percent of retention rate of alumni who stay with NNS 10 years after graduation. The Apprentice School provides the company with a continuous supply of high performing leaders - diverse pool of graduates who possess core leadership principles and a high degree of engagement. People-centric leadership is the key to its three pillars: Craftsmanship, scholarship, and leadership.


Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) is the builder of the most complex ships in the world for 133 years - the sole builder of U.S. Navy aircraft carriers, the world’s largest warships, and one of two builders constructing nuclear-powered submarines. It is the largest industrial employer in Virginia, with more than 24,300 employees. As NNS embraced lean, it incorporated its values (integrity, safety , honesty, engagement, responsibility and performance) into practice creating long-term benefits for shareholders, customers, employees, suppliers and the communities they serve.

Presenter: Latitia McCane

Latitia McCane is the director of education for the Apprentice School, responsible for overall leadership, vision and strategic direction of craft training, academic delivery, student services, accreditation, recruitment and athletics. Since 2007, McCane has held several leadership positions at Bishop State Community College, Alabama. She most recently served as dean of instructional services responsible for all academic programs across the four campuses. She was also associate dean of instruction at Jefferson Davis Community College, Alabama. McCane earned doctoral degrees in urban higher education administration and education administration from Jackson State University and Lacrosse University, respectively. She also holds several graduate and undergraduate degrees from University of Alabama, Texas Southern University and Alabama State University.