The president of Electric Boat told lawmakers that the company is in the midst of a "once-in-a-generation expansion." Kevin Graney, EB's president, said they will need to hire more than 3,000 workers in 2022.
"Hiring is our biggest issue," Graney said during the annual CT legislative briefing. "We are seeing attrition of personnel that is higher than expected. Some of that due to retirement, some of that people just exiting the job market. Simply put, it is more difficult to hire and retain employees today."
EB has the largest amount of contracted work in the company's history. Over the next decade, with attrition, they will need to hire about 18,000 people. By the end of this year alone, they are planning to hire more than 3,000 people, according to a spokesperson for the company.
"The demand for submarines, from my perspective, has never been greater," said Graney.
Graney underscored the importance of already existing workforce training programs in Connecticut to help meet the hiring need. EB is working on outreach to various communities, including students.
"We have got school programs at all levels - elementary through high school - and these programs are all intended to provide exposure and build awareness of careers at Electric Boat," said Graney.
The Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board (EWIB) has been training workers to fill this need for several years. Their work continues.
In 2015, they started the Eastern CT Manufacturing Pipeline Initiative. The program provides no-cost training to address the hiring needs of the manufacturing industry, including Electric Boat and its local suppliers.
The initiative has placed more than 1,700 people in local manufacturing jobs.
"These training programs are absolutely critical to our success," said Graney.
Congressman Joe Courtney, chairman of the House Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee, participated in the legislative briefing.
“In eastern Connecticut, it’s been all hands on deck for nearly a decade to prepare for this boom in submarine work and the demand for skilled employees to support it,” said Courtney.