The Virginia Ship Repair Association (VSRA) is a regional trade association representing companies engaged in, or supporting, the ship repair industry in Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic region. Its mission is to focus and coordinate member resources on issues, challenges, and opportunities facing the ship repair industry in Virginia and across the nation.
The Virginia Ship Repair Association was founded in 1979 when corporate officers of individual private sector shipyards in south Hampton Roads jointly established the Tidewater Maritime Training Institute (TMTI) to provided training for the ship repair industry in Hampton Roads, Virginia. The Institute was incorporated in 1981 as a non-profit, tax exempt educational institution (IRS 501(c)(3)).
Leo Marshall, a retired Navy Captain, became the founding Executive Director of the Institute. For the next 20 years, Leo and his team of talented instructors trained men and women in the skills necessary to enter challenging and rewarding careers in the ship repair industry.
In 1984, the same corporate officers, recognizing that there was a need for a regional association of ship repair companies to address other mutual concerns, organized and incorporated the South Tidewater Association of Ship Repairers, Inc. (STASR) as a non-profit, tax exempt trade association (IRS 501(c)(6)). Membership was extended to ship repair subcontractors, suppliers, and support service companies. In addition to his leadership responsibilities of TMTI, Leo Marshall assumed leadership of STASR as Executive Director. By early 2004, the Association grew to over 170 member companies from around the Commonwealth of Virginia, as well as nearby states.
In December of 2003 after 22 years of dedicated and distinguished leadership, Leo Marshall relinquished the helm of both organizations, and Mal Branch, also a retired Navy Captain, was installed as the new President/CEO. In 2004, a Strategic Planning Committee, composed of representatives of STASR companies appointed by the Board of Directors, reviewed past successes and identified opportunities for the future. Their goal was to develop a new plan for the direction of the Association. In January 2005, the Association's Strategic Plan was adopted and the name of the association was changed to the Virginia Ship Repair Association (VSRA) to better reflect the geography and business focus of its members.
Changes in funding streams and a new federal focus on employment and training strategies meant that a complete review of TMTI was needed. As a result of strategic planning that aligned the newly named VSRA with the training demands of the industry, TMTI was restructured to become the Virginia Ship Repair Foundation.
Currently, the Virginia Ship Repair Association represents over 200 member companies whose combined businesses have an economic impact in the Hampton Roads area on: 30,000 jobs, $1.2 billion in annual sales, and $941 million in employee earnings.
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