WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — The bad news: Electric Boat has a backlog of commissioned work. The good news: the company expects to hire 4,000 people in Rhode Island and Connecticut in the next 15 years to build the attack submarines that are on its to-do list.
This year alone, the company plans to hire 1,800 new employees. Specifically at Quonset Point, the jobs could jump from 3,500 now to well over 5,000 by 202.
Electric Boat president Jeffrey S. Geiger told a gathering of legislators Monday at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick the North Kingstown shipbuilder’s future looks upbeat. Right now, the company has a backlog of 16 Virginia-class attack submarines under contract — worth $21 billion. They also expect the U.S. Navy will order more of them, and then hire EB to build replacements for Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines.
“I think it’s something Rhode Island should be awfully proud of,” Geiger said. “They play a prominent role in this country’s construction submarine industrial base.”
Sen. Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island, also spoke at the event about his efforts to drive federal investment towards the defense industry in Rhode Island. He described Electric Boat’s submarine work as critical to U.S. national security and the economy of the state.
“Submarines are, in my view, one of the most significant operational and strategic advantages we have in a very complicated and dangerous world,” Reed said.
Gov. Gina Raimondo was at Monday’s event, and she said she is focused on making sure the Ocean State has enough people trained to get these jobs.
“These are good jobs, these are exactly the kinds of jobs Rhode Islanders need,” she said. “Jobs you can take care of your family on – good wages good benefits.”