Date Added: March 29, 2018
Adam Cole talks about the experiences and opportunities offered to him by the Coast Guard throughout his career at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, MD.
Please welcome to the stage, Yard Structural Group Supervisor Adam Cole, United States Coast Guard. Secretary, other distinguished guests, good morning. I am very thankful and humbled to be here today to speak on behalf of the Coast Guard. I work at the U.S. Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, Maryland and I have been a civilian employee there for 16 years. I am extremely proud of my service to the Coast Guard and thankful to be a part at barton to the Department of Homeland Security. I come to work every day knowing that we are contributing directly to the security and prosperity of our nation. I began my career there when I was 16 years old as part of its apprenticeship program. After high school graduation, I was selected to attend a training program which included on-the-job training and college courses. This program helped me to better serve the Coast Guard and provided me the knowledge and skills to progress in our organization. Over the years, I have progressed and climbed the career ladder and currently, I am the Structural Group General Foreman and I manage 140 employees in the ship-fitting, welding, sheet metal, and boat winning trades. I am the youngest General Foreman in Coast Guard Yard history at only 32 years old. So again, talk about opportunity. The Coast Guard Yard has been around for nearly 119 years and we are the Coast Guard's only shipbuilding and DHS is the largest industrial facility. The Yard is built, renovated, or maintained nearly every cutter that is put to sea over the past century. I am very proud to be a part of this amazing legacy and service. For the first time in many years, the Yard is transforming to address the needs of our new Coast Guard fleet and adapting the future challenges. This includes reshaping the yards workforce to become even more efficient and effective in repairing and maintaining the cutters and boats that crews will use for decades to come. These investments and transformation means they're not much not only to the new employees that started today or tomorrow but also to the seasoned veterans at the yard with over 50 years of experience and service there. The Yard is a place like much like much rest of the Coast Guard. We love what we do. As a member of the Yard, I want to ensure that our organization is serving our fleet for another 119 years and more to come. I'm not just speaking for myself but every employee at the yard when I say we take great pride in serving our country. We are proud to be keeping our servicemen and women safely afloat and enabling them to protect our borders and come to others aid when they're in distress. It is incredibly fulfilling to see the results of work when it has a direct impact on saving lives, interdicting drugs, and protecting our borders. For example, one of the ships I worked on was used to reopen ports in Florida and Texas following the Hurricanes. Other ships that I have worked on are operating right now out on the high seas interdicting drugs. We're a tight-knit family at the Yard. The Coast Guard is such a great place to work. It has blessed me along with so many others with great opportunities to have a secure career, provide for our families, and also serve our nation. I have three children of my own and I would love one day to see one or at least maybe even all of them possibly working for the U.S. Coast Guard or some department in the Department of Homeland Security. There are currently some fifth generation employees at the Yard today as we speak. I love going to work every day serving our Coast Guard crews and providing them the resources they rely upon every day to help secure and protect our great country. Thank you. [Applause]