Report: Miss. Shipbuilding Should Boom
According to the Sun Herald over the next few years Mississippi's shipbuilding industry should see its share of the defense spending bill passed by federal lawmakers lastThursday.
About $2.6b of the $447.6b defense appropriations bill approved by Congress this week is earmarked for construction of two naval destroyers; Ingalls Shipyard will build one and parts of the other. A total of $10.6 billion of defense funding will go toward shipbuilding in fiscal 2007.
After negotiators reached a compromise between the House and Senate versions of the bill earlier this week, it was passed by the House Tuesday 394-22, and then approved by the Senate on Friday by a vote of 100-0.
Northrop Grumman, the largest manufacturing employer in Mississippi and Louisiana, has teamed with Bath Iron Works in Maine in designing and building the destroyers. Preliminary construction of a keel - a large structure that facilitates building of the ship itself - should begin at Ingalls in 2008, Cullin said.
He also mentioned a new reward and incentive program to attract new workers and retain current employees.