NEWPORT NEWS, Va., April 16, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE:HII) President and CEO Mike Petters was the keynote speaker at the 11th annual Breakfast to Benefit the Children of Downtown Hampton Child Development Center. The event, held at the Hampton Roads Convention Center, is designed to educate guests about the Child Development Center and to raise funds for its operations.
The Downtown Hampton Child Development Center is a non-profit preschool that serves 200 children between the ages of 6 weeks and 5 years. The school's mission is to nurture young children by providing affordable, quality preschool programs that develop the "whole child" and foster school readiness. The center offers the Peninsula's only sliding-scale tuition rate, based on family income, with a focus on children from at-risk and underserved populations, including children with special needs.
"I personally believe that education is one area that we as a nation have to get right, or a lot of other issues will become inconsequential," Petters said in his remarks. "I believe it will be the thing that drives the country forward for the next several decades."
Petters continued, "If you ask what's different about America than other countries in terms of education, what you will find is that countries that are ahead of us have formal preschool programs. It's almost that simple." Petters pointed out that in the U.S. children start kindergarten programs when they're about 5 years old, whereas in other nations children begin school when they turn 3 or 4.
For the full text of Petters' speech, visit:
Petters earned a bachelor's degree in physics from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1982 and went on to serve as an officer on the submarine USS George Bancroft (SSBN 643) and in the U.S. Naval Reserve. In 1993, he earned an MBA from the College of William and Mary. He joined Newport News Shipbuilding in 1987 and held a number of increasingly responsible positions throughout the organization, including vice president of aircraft carrier programs, vice president of contracts and pricing, vice president of human resources, and president of Northrop Grumman Newport News and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding. He assumed the role of president and CEO for HII on March 31, 2011.
About Huntington Ingalls
Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) designs, builds and maintains nuclear and non-nuclear ships for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard and provides after-market services for military ships around the globe. For more than a century, HII has built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder at its Newport News Shipbuilding and Ingalls Shipbuilding divisions. Employing about 37,000 in Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana and California, HII also provides a wide variety of products and services to the commercial energy industry and other government customers. For more information, visit: