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2023 17th Annual Tradesperson of the Year Awards

Established in 2006, the Virginia Ship Repair Foundation’s Tradesperson of the Year Awards recognize  excellence in the ship repair industry workforce. From numerous nominees, two winners are selected: a senior tradesperson with more than five years of industry experience, and a junior tradesperson with fewer than five years experience in their chosen trade field. These nominees and winners are truly the best of the best, and showcase the exemplary talent and work ethic that make Virginia’s ship repairers the best in the world.

The VSRF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, so all sponsorships are tax-deductible and go toward valuable initiatives that enhance and expand the future ship repair industry workforce.

Now, more than ever, it is important to recognize excellence in our workforce. Your Association and Foundation are dedicated to doing just that.

Please click on the following links for:

2023 VSRF Jr ToY Nomination Form 
2023 VSRF Sr ToY Nomination Form 

VSRF Jr Sample ToY Nomination Form
VSRF Sr Sample ToY Nomination Form

**Nominations CLOSE Friday, October 13, 2023, at 5PM.

Nomination Tips:

The judges look for specific examples of expertise, leadership and commitment. Please be descriptive in your answers. Other areas that weigh in on the decision-making are: creativity, safety, professionalism and growth. Please try to refrain from using the nominee’s name or company name in your nominee descriptions other than on the first page of the nomination form. Also please refrain from using HE or SHE within nominee descriptions, instead please use THEM, THEY, THEIR or NOMINEE as we want to maintain anonymity of the individual.

Please refrain from submitting their certificates or licenses, especially if these items contain their name and company's name. The judges are aware that if they are actively working in the industry, they must have these. 

Premier Sponsorship by:  PNC Bank

Prizes Sponsored by: Stanley Black & Decker



Scott Perkins started his career in Coatings, then moved to Temporary Services 10 years ago. Scott was proactive in seeking opportunities to learn and develop his skill which allowed him to become a subject matter expert in a second trade. Our Senior Tradesperson of the Year received an award from his company’s EHS department for quick response to a spill that limited the environmental impact of the spill. In the last 12 months alone, Scott has formally submitted four process improvement initiatives, three of which have been implemented to improve company operations, reduce costs, and increase jobsite safety. Due to the hard work, dedication, and example set by him, the Temporary Services shop has reduced their safety discrepancies by 24% in the last 6 months. In 2019, a fire broke out in a doghouse attached to a ship in their dry dock. During the evacuation process, Scott was able to see flames coming from the doghouse near an existing fire station and recognized the magnitude of risk the fire posed to life and property. He and his team were able to safely spray water from their position in the dry dock directly onto the flames, and due to their quick and selfless actions, controlled the spread of the fire until local firefighting resources arrived on scene. These actions limited the damage associated with the fire thereby reducing the potential impact on that vessel’s ability to resume its operations as part of our nation’s defense. Our Senior Tradesperson winner is a member of their Church’s Life Group and participates in monthly Feed the City events which provide warm meals to disadvantaged community members feeding between 200 and 300 people in their community. Scott's church provides housing to unhoused community members who stay in the church’s facilities, and our Senior Tradesperson winner frequently volunteers for the graveyard shift at the church to ensure the safety of all involved. Scott has also supported youth athletic programs in his neighborhood by organizing car washes to raise money to purchase new uniforms and needed equipment.



CJ McAndrews is an electrician supervisor who was asked why he entered the ship repair industry, and his answer was “Fulfillment. Doing my part with helping our military succeed…because it is the backbone of how I learned to succeed.” Entering the industry with no technical experience, CJ picked his career path as a tradesperson by reviewing each trade’s open positions and most importantly, the associated opportunities for development. CJ felt he could enhance his trade and operational expertise as an electrician, and could do more, be more, make more and give more within this trade. CJ has an exceptional safety record with zero job related injuries. He has received safety recognition awards for leading co-workers/team initiatives to comply with safety and health requirements. CJ provides unwavering leadership, serving as a role model for taking the necessary precautions and protection while executing safe working practices. Outside of work, CJ is happily married, and works together with his wife to play a huge role in his community in various ways.  CJ helps his community by rescuing, taking care of, and training animals. He donates his time to the Virginia State Parks and Recreation as environmental preservation which is a crucial priority to him. He has also dedicated his life to helping people in need and has traveled on numerous mission trips within the United States to help at-risk communities and assist others in need. CJ is truly an asset to his community, his God, his Country, this industry, his peers, and his company he represents.


John Howard Jr is a recent graduate of the apprenticeship program and is a 1st Class Outside Machinist acting as a Team Leader. He constantly seeks out knowledge, learning and mentorship opportunities. John routinely seeks out opportunities to take on more responsibility and greatly contributes to the success of the outside machine shop in supporting the shipyard and the customer. Our 2022 Junior Tradesperson winner was pivotal in building a rig to drain two propeller shaft HUBS at the same time which resulted in a 3–10-day process being reduced to 1-3 days. He actively looks for ways to save time and increase efficiency without sacrificing safety by using power tools vice manual tools. During the holidays, John leads in showing compassion by providing community service in delivering Thanksgiving baskets each year to in-need former and current employees. During the recent critical blood shortage, he set an example for his peers by donating blood regularly. John also loves to serve his community by frequently volunteering with the Foodbank of Southern Virginia and Eastern Shore, often donating 3-4 hours to help those in need. John has three children ages seven and under and prioritizes spending time with them every day. On top of everything he does, John is also a part-time student in his senior year at Old Dominion University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and is projected to graduate the summer of 2023. 


Joseph Rodriguez is a J3 Pipe Fitter who seeks out new challenges and training opportunities beyond the requirements of their current position to advance in their trade and support the Pipe Shop. Joseph received the General Manager’s challenge coin this year for his consistent efforts to encourage proper PPE usage and ensure more junior mechanics use their PPE as required. As a PAI, Joseph works with hot work teams to ensure all safety measures are met and hazards are mitigated prior to beginning hot work. He ensures the safety of himself and others by performing WAF/Tag-outs to properly isolate systems for repair. Joseph ensures safe shop rigging evolutions by maintaining his Rigger 1 Qualification. Joseph displays leadership under pressure far exceeding his years of trade experience by stepping up and taking ownership of the central hydraulic piping upgrades on a recent availability. Joseph led the job; working a small crew, seven days a week to maintain the schedule. Joseph and his family relocated to Hampton Roads in 2019 to work for General Dynamics NASSCO-Norfolk. He supports his spouse, who is pursuing her education in the evenings, by caring for their two young children, ages one and three. Our Junior Runner-Up, Joseph Rodriguez, is building a family and community network in our region and provides an excellent example of leadership and accountability at home and at work.