“My mantra at work has always been to work hard and push yourself to become better in your craft every day. Continue to re-skill and up-skill through formal programmes and on-the-job training. The sky’s the limit!”
- Kevin Amis, Executive Vice President of Operations, Halter Marine (Pictured second from the left)
As a senior leader in Operations based in Pascagoula, USA, Kevin Amis, is responsible for supply chain management, engineering, production, quality, tests and trials, facility and maintenance, and planning and scheduling.
Q: Share with us what got you started with your career in Halter Marine?
I’ve been in the shipbuilding industry my entire career, starting as a welding apprentice. Before Halter Marine, I worked for 33 years in shipbuilding, moving up from an apprentice role to becoming the Vice President of Operations. It was a fulfilling career working on and leading the production of many vessels for the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard.
After working for more than three decades, I decided to spend quality time with my family. During this period, I did some marine industry consulting work in various U.S. shipyards, but I missed the day-to-day action of shipbuilding and especially the interactions with talented shipbuilders. When the opportunity to join Halter Marine’s great team came, I answered that call. Every day, I look forward to being in our shipyard.
Q: Can you share what a day in your life at Halter Marine is like?
Sometimes it feels like I spend my entire day in meetings! However, those meetings are vital parts of strategic planning and accomplishing our mission to serve our clients by building world-class vessels. I lead our entire production division, which includes all aspects of the programme construction from welding and ship fitting to electrical and painting.
I love walking out into the shipyard to meet our craft men and women and their supervisors. Nothing beats taking part in constructing a massive vessel with a team of shipbuilders who do everything with their heads, hands and hearts, and then get the pleasure of witnessing a successful launch and ultimately deliver the vessel to a satisfied customer.
Q: How do you see yourself helping aspiring maritime professionals?
In partnership with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Halter Marine aims to groom 50 men and women through a new apprenticeship programme. Students will be given on-the-job training through rotations across various operations in Halter Marine. In all, the students will end the apprenticeship programme with close to 600 hours of classroom work and 8,000 hours on the job.
You can start out as a welding apprentice or electrical apprentice and eventually work your way up. I think the apprentices have a great future in front of them. We hope the apprentice graduates will continue to grow their careers with Halter Marine and eventually be a part of our future leadership team.
Q: Can you give some advice to someone who wants to advance in his or her career?
Hard work and a positive mindset of continuous learning and development have opened up many career advancement opportunities for me. My mantra at work has always been to work hard and push yourself to become better in your craft every day. Continue to re-skill and up-skill through formal programmes and on-the-job training. The sky’s the limit!