Gov. Dannel Malloy announced a partnership with General Dynamics Electric Boat Tuesday that will help the company grow its workforce by nearly 1,900 jobs—mostly in Groton—bringing it to more than 13,000 in Connecticut by 2034.
In the course of the agreement, EB will contribute more than $850 million in capital investments in the state over the next 17 years and more than double the $250 million spent annually on over 700 in-state suppliers, which are located in 102 Connecticut cities and towns, according to Malloy.
“It will be at least a doubling of production requirements on the part of the supply base,” EB President Jeffrey Geiger said.
The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development will be providing a $35 million loan for machinery and equipment through the governor’s First Five Plus Program, which offers loan forgiveness based on supply chain spend and employment, and up to $20 million from Connecticut Innovations in sales and use tax exemptions for capital and new construction on the Electric Boat campus, according to a news release from the governor’s office.
The DECD will also provide EB an $8 million grant to spend on third-party workforce development initiatives through community colleges, technical high schools, and organizations in Connecticut, such as the Eastern Workforce Investment Board, to benefit the company and its manufacturing supply chain, according to Malloy.
Additionally, the state will provide $20 million for dredging of the Thames River, which the governor’s office says will allow submarines to be launched from a new dry dock and manufacturing superstructure being built to support the construction of the new Columbia-class submarines.
Because EB will eventually be ramping up production from two submarines a year to three, the company’s hundreds of suppliers will also need to add staff to keep up.
Bozrah-based Collins & Jewell Company has hired 20 new employees in the last two years and plans to up its workforce even more.
The company creates custom structures for EB. For example, some can be used as foundations for large equipment, CFO Chris Jewell said. It’s work that makes up about 80 percent of business.
It’s why he’s excited EB’s workload is increasing.
“In our business there are a lot of ebbs and flows and we’re hoping this will level out and make sure it’s definitely consistent business,” Jewell said.
Collins & Jewell Company plans to spend local, too. Equipment and materials are purchased from local vendors, according to Jewell.
City of Groton Mayor Keith Hedrick is coming up with plans for people to stay local, too, and asking staff to help map out what the city should look like in five and ten years.
“Those people need to shop somewhere and they need to eat somewhere,” Hedrick said.
Currently, 60 percent of the city rents, according to Hedrick, who’s looking to create more permanent housing options.