NEWPORT NEWS, Va., June 18, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Newport News Shipbuilding's (NNS) Career Pathways program received two awards from the Virginia Department of Education for its partnership with Newport News City Public Schools' Heritage High School. NNS, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE:HII), has been supporting the high school's STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiatives for students. Because of its commitment to education in the community, Career Pathways received the State of Virginia Creating Excellence Award and the Region 2 of Virginia Creating Excellence Secondary Business and Industry Partnership Award. "We celebrate NNS' Career Pathways' achievements and its successful partnership with Newport News Public Schools," said Bill Bell, NNS vice president of human resources and administration. "Through dedication, commitment and hard work, Career Pathways is helping students explore STEM careers to better prepare them for their future." The awards were presented by the Virginia Department of Education on June 13 at a luncheon program in Richmond. The Creating Excellence Secondary Business and Industry Partnership Award honors partnerships with businesses and industries that provide resources and support for career and technical education (CTE) programs. Newport News Shipbuilding was nominated by Heritage High School to receive the regional award and competed against three other companies to receive the state award. An extensive partnership between NNS' Career Pathways and Heritage High School was established to provide shadowing opportunities for students interested in engineering, electronics, modeling and simulation, computer systems technology, and architectural design. By working closely with NNS employees, the shadowing experience allows students to see firsthand how what they learn is connected to the skills needed to be successful in the shipbuilding industry. "This partnership connects Hampton Roads students with hands-on experiences and real opportunities with Newport News Shipbuilding," Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright said. "And it provides middle and high school teachers with an invaluable, behind-the-scenes look at how the knowledge and skills taught in the classroom align with the demands of one of the commonwealth's largest employers and manufacturers."