That loud noise you heard yesterday was a huge sigh of relief from the Marinette community as Congress approved a budget bill that includes the U.S. Navy's plan to buy 10 combat ships from Marinette Marine Co., a move that has the potential to create thousands of jobs not only for the shipbuilder but for its many suppliers across the New North and beyond.
As Insight editor Margaret LeBrun noted in her profile of Marinette Marine in the December issue of Insight, the Navy contract translates into great economic news not just for Marinette Marine, but the many companies that provide it with necessary supplies and services. Like Oshkosh Corp., Marinette Marine has the potential to become the head of a massive supply chain that will lift the financial fortunes of many businesses.
As Marinette Marine begins to ramp up production of the ships, it will first call back its laid off workers who were waiting for the deal to come through. The next step after that is to begin hiring hundreds, if not a thousand, more workers. Marinette Marine and other shipbuilders in the New North are working closely with Northeast Wisconsin Technical College to develop a curriculum to provide training that these new workers will need.
As for Marinette Marine President Richard McCreary, Tuesday’s vote was just the early Christmas present he and the rest of the area were waiting for.
–By MaryBeth Matzek