PASCAGOULA, Miss., Nov. 6, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Huntington Ingalls Industries' (NYSE:HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division officially opened the company's brand-new, 70,000 square-foot Haley Reeves Barbour Maritime Training Academy today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The building, named for the former Mississippi governor, will serve as the training epicenter for Ingalls' apprentice program and will also help bolster the number of students. "Today symbolizes the state's commitment to workforce development and skills training for all of our working people so they can get better, higher-paying jobs," Barbour said. "This will be a symbol to students in Jackson County, south Mississippi, our whole state that the trades and the crafts provide wonderful careers that are rewarding and fulfilling. For many men and women, boys and girls, that's what their special talent is. We've got to start earlier in their lives, exposing them to the trades and what will be taught here." A photo accompanying this release is available at: http://newsroom.huntingtoningalls.com/ImageLibrary/detail.aspx?MediaDetailsID=786 . The building, a framed, two-story facility, has the feel of a college campus. It features 24 classrooms, three computer labs, a library, a bookstore, 26 offices/conference rooms, as well as several craft labs for the shipyard's various trades. "This new Apprentice School facility will be instrumental in training future generations of shipbuilders," said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Irwin F. Edenzon. "Ingalls Shipbuilding and all of Huntington Ingalls Industries understands, as the governor does, that the most important investments we make are in our 'human capital.' We invest in craftsmanship, scholarship, leadership and citizenship because it makes us a better company and a better employer, and it's the right thing to do—just as the state's investment in these things helps make a better Mississippi. And it gives everyone the opportunity for a better quality of life."