May 1, 2014
Economic stability is certainly something worth celebrating, and the recently announced U.S. Navy five-year, $17.6 billion contract with Electric Boat will provide that stability to our region. Our region essentially relies upon four major employers, the two casinos – Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun – Pfizer and Electric Boat. The recession and increased competition from nearby states cut deeply into the casino market that the Mashantucket and Mohegan Tribes have long dominated and Pfizer’s decision to downsize its operations in the region resulted in many high-paying jobs being lost.
EB wasn’t immune. Sequestration posed a serious threat to maintenance work at the shipyard and there were real concerns that the two subs per year construction schedule could be jeopardized amid calls in Washington for deeper cuts in the Defense spending. Fortunately, however, the Defense Department, Congress and the administration has come to recognize the critical role the Navy’s submarine fleet plays in the defense of our nation. Connecticut’s congressional delegation, and in particular U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, and U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, deserve credit in securing this long-term contract for 10 submarines to be built over the next five years.
The Navy’s long-term commitment will not only provides job security for the 11,000 EB workers at the shipyard, but it also provides economic security across the state. More than 300 vendors statewide provide supplies and materials to the company. The Navy contract will have positive economic rippling effect giving a real boost to the state’s manufacturing sector. Of course the real credit belongs to EB’s management team and its highly-skilled workforce. They are the ones responsible for establishing EB as the nation’s premiere submarine builder, consistently completing construction contracts on time – if not sooner — and at or below cost.May 1st, 2014