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Courtney Statement On Strong Outlook For Hiring At Electric Boat In 2019

January 14, 2019
Press Release

Norwich, CT -- Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces in the previous 115th Congress, issued the following statement regarding Electric Boat’s (EB) annual legislative update hosted by company President Jeffrey S. Geiger. Geiger detailed Electric Boat’s plans to hire roughly 900 new employees in Connecticut in 2019.

“Today’s announcement from Mr. Geiger and Electric Boat is good news for eastern Connecticut and for the state,” said Congressman Courtney. “This year’s projection of nearly 900 new hires represents a continued strong, upward trajectory for both the local and regional economies and builds on over 1,000 new hires in Connecticut over the past year.

“Electric Boat now employs nearly 12,000 people in Connecticut, and over 17,000 across their entire footprint -- a huge milestone that confirms EB is one of Connecticut’s most persistent and long-term drivers of economic growth. Just as impressive are the statistics behind these numbers, which show a continued transformation of EB’s skilled labor towards a younger and more millennial workforce. EB is providing young adults with careers, not short-term jobs, and with over 50 percent of EB’s current workforce between the ages of 22 and 37, it’s the sort of change that augurs well for the region.

“Another significant development which will begin in 2019 is the construction of a massive new production building for the Columbia class submarine program. These subs are two and a half times the size of Virginia boats, and the structure will cost $850 million. A whole new structure is required on the Groton waterfront to build this program, which will continue into the 2030s.

“As Ranking Member of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee in the previous Congress, I have worked to ensure that our submarine programs and suppliers receive the support and funding they need to build our nation’s undersea force. Last year, Congress authorized a 47 percent increase in submarine program funding from 2018 to 2019, as we continue to phase in construction of the new Columbia-class submarine. I have also pushed the Navy to better manage its repair work across our public and private shipyards, leading the Navy to transfer two repair availabilities to Electric Boat in the past year and to publicly commit to more. This repair work is critical to ensuring EB workforce in Groton is in place and ready for Columbia-class construction.

“I want to thank President Geiger for hosting today’s update, and to especially thank the hardworking men and women at Electric Boat. EB delivers critically important submarines to the U.S. Navy, and it couldn’t happen without the folks who do the work. I look forward to continuing to work in Congress and here in Connecticut to ensure that our undersea investment, and the workforce that makes it possible, remains a top priority in the 116th Congress and for my colleagues on the Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee.”

Among the notable updates from the briefing today:

  • Total hiring in Connecticut is projected to be about 900 in trades, design and engineering, and support positions. Over 60% of projected hires for 2019 are planned for Connecticut.
  • Electric Boat continues to experience a change in demographics towards a younger, more millennial skilled labor force. In 2013, 30.3% of EB employees were between the ages of 22 and 37. Today, 51.1% of EB employees are between he ages of 22 and 37 -- a 20.8% change. 
  • Electric Boat continues to utilize key workforce investment tools secured by Congressman Courtney and the Connecticut Delegation to support the training of their new and increasingly younger workforce, including the Eastern Connecticut Manufacturing Pipeline, which is credited with over 1,000 EB hires in Connecticut.
  • Congress has significantly increased investment in key submarine programs like the Virginia Class Submarine, Virginia Payload Module and the Columbia-class submarine program, represented by a 47% increase in enacted appropriations for such programs from Fiscal Year 2018 to Fiscal Year 2019.