Signing Signals Shipyard's New Direction

It took only seconds for Governor Ronnie Musgrove to ink the Senate bill that officially signs over $48 million to Northrup Grumman. The governor says the impact of a bigger and better shipyard reaches far beyond the Coast.

"This is a major accomplishment not only for Northrup Grumman but for Mississippi and the more companies look at our state the more they see the benefit and how we're able to get the job done," says Musgrove.

That job over the next three years includes new buildings, equipment and overall modernizing of the company's Gulfport and Pascagoula shipyards. President Phil Dur says the company is preparing for future contracts.

"We really need to position ourselves so we can build ships efficiently and productively, and at the end of the day as we expand our Gulfport facility to do composites for ships, we're gonna end up having to add significant numbers of new jobs to our Gulf Coast complex."

Dur says that number could total about two thousand new jobs over the next three to five years. Dur gives all the credit to the company's success to the men and women who build the ships.

"When you're building ships for the U.S. Navy, a navy that is in and out of crisis like Afghanastan and the war that we're in right now, it's a special way to work. It's a special contribution that we make. Beyond the economic impact of the jobs here are the dedication and the patriotism of the people who build the ships."

Along with the $48 million in state bonds, Northrup-Grumman will put up $96 million this year to pay for the work. Over the next two years, the company will also match the state's contribution to the project. The three year expansion is expected to cost $300 million.