The US Shipbuilding Industry Is Showing Highest Growth In A Generation

Matthew Paxton, the President of the Shipbuilders Council of America, recently sat down with MarineLink.com for an interview about the state of the shipbuilding industry, job growth within the industry, and other issues that impact the industry as a whole.

During his interview, he said that the United States shipbuilding industry is exhibiting the most growth that it’s seen in a generation thanks to a constant stream of jobs from government contracts, as well as an influx of jobs from the commercial sector.

To start off, in your view what is the current “State of the Shipbuilding & Ship Repair” business in the United States? 

On the government side, funding for new construction ships is always a challenge and we could always use more. Shipbuilding programs that are under serial production, such as Virginia-class submarines and USCG Fast-Response Cutters, are providing stable and predictable work for yards and their suppliers.  Ship depot maintenance is funded at 100 percent, keeping our repair yards busy.  On the commercial front, the shipyard industry is experiencing a boom not witnessed in decades. In addition to a regular stream of patrol craft, fire boats, ferries and tugs, we have seen an uptick in barge construction, large complex supply boats, large petroleum carriers and the recapitalization of the non-contiguous containership fleet.

From  your perspective what is the status of the U.S. ship yard sector today as compared to any other time in your career?

When you look at the industry overall, I think we are in good shape, particularly on the commercial side with all the recent new building of large vessels and uptick in barge construction. The defense side has its budget issues, particularly with sequestration which is still the law of the land. Some of that large vessel commercial new construction, however, is helping to maintain workloads, supporting both a shared skilled workforce and supplier base, for shipyards that have traditionally built for the government. This is one example of why the U.S. Navy is a strong supporter of the Jones Act.

To read the entire interview, click here!

With such growth in the industry, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to presume that there is – or will be – a need for skilled workers to fill job openings.

If you’re interested in a career in the manufacturing or shipbuilding sectors, then SAMI may be the right fit for you! SAMI is dedicated to working with unemployed Rhode Island residents to provide them with the assessment and training needed to make them desired applicants in the shipbuilding and manufacturing industries.

For more information, give SAMI a call at (401) 739-5000 x3700, or fill out our inquiry form.

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