Though often thought of in terms of transportation—like airports or train stations—shipyards function much more like factories, not only providing needed maintenance to seafaring vessels but also manufacturing those vessels. Active shipyards, like factories, represent economic health and jobs.
Take, for instance, recent news that the Navy will make use of the facilities at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine to repair a submarine using spare parts from a decommissioned vessel. The submarine in question received hundreds of millions of dollars in fire damage, which represents many millions of dollars in labor for repairs.
In Mobile, Alabama, a shipyard recently finished work on a Joint High Speed Vessel for the United States Navy and is currently slated to build several more as part of a contract worth over $1.5 dollars, in addition to another contract worth more than $3 billion to build several other ships. The $5 billion in sum goes directly into the local economy, providing support for the families of employees as well as a needed tax base in this era of economic difficulty.
Author Reuben K. Byrd holds more than two decades of experience in the field of shipyard management.