Electric Boat Suppliers Preparing for Possible Increase in Submarine Production - NBC Connecticut

Electric Boat Suppliers Preparing for Possible Increase in Submarine Production

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Monday, March 6, 2017)

    With the Navy looking to ramp up production on its submarine force, Electric Boat is planning to take on thousands of new workers who will help meet the demand.

    Not only does the potential increase have Electric Boat telling their suppliers to be prepared, it could also mean more skilled, high-paying jobs in Connecticut.

    For more than 30 years, Prime Technology, LLC has teamed up with Electric Boat. The partnership keeps the small North Branford company in business, the vice president of sales and marketing at Prime Technology, Keith Macdowall, said.

    With a likely need to increase submarine production to meet the new demand for 66 attack submarines, the company is planning to hire.

    “It may allow us the opportunity to be able to hire some people at a high level, high skilled-type jobs, which we desperately need in the Connecticut manufacturing industry,” Macdowall said. 

    Macdowall said he’s looking to add two engineers, two technicians and five to six manufacturing positions to his staff of 38. The jobs would have a paycheck between $40,000 and $90,000.

    “That’s a major increase of where we were, to where we’re going to go,” Macdowall said.

    Prime Technology LLC is one of about 450 suppliers in Connecticut alone that Electric Boat works with.

    Dan Barrett, spokesperson for Electric Boat, said the company has placed orders of nearly $485 million with those supplies over the past five years. Electric Boat is asking suppliers to make a plan to support a boost in submarine construction.

    “The anticipated increase in submarine production is good news for the state, and is part of a greater anticipated demand for shipbuilding and manufacturing jobs in the coming years,” said Andrea Comer, executive director of the Connecticut Business & Industry Association Education & Workforce Partnership.

    Technical high schools and community colleges are working to build the talent pool needed, Comer added.

    Finding local talent and getting materials can pose a challenge, he said.

    “Connecticut doesn’t really have industry as much as they did in the past,” Macdowall said.

    But hiring and increased production could help Prime Technology thrive.

    “When you can get into a natural movement toward product on a regular basis, you can reduce costs,” Macdowall said.

    Two-hundred and eighty suppliers from across the nation attended the Submarine Industrial Base Council in Washington D.C. to be briefed on Navy submarine requirements, Barrett said, adding it was the largest turnout ever.

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