Northrop Grumman Expands Gulfport Operations - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

06/09/03

Northrop Grumman Expands Gulfport Operations

The latest Northrop Grumman expansion means hundreds of new jobs for South Mississippi.

Governor Ronnie Musgrove helped company leaders break ground on a sixty four million dollar improvement project at the company's Gulfport Operations on Industrial Seaway Road.

The modernization program will help keep the company on the cutting edge of ship building technology.

"Today is a great day for the State of Mississippi," said Governor Ronnie Musgrove.

Before making his formal remarks, Governor Musgrove quickly acknowledged hundreds of VIP's at the ground breaking. He praised the Northrop Grumman workers who are the real beneficiaries of the expansion project.

"It makes me feel good that companies around the nation and around the world say that Mississippi has the best work force and the best trained and skilled people. It makes me feel good as governor," said Musgrove.

Northrop Grumman's Gulfport Operation currently provides jobs for some eight hundred workers. They manufacture sections of ships from composite material, glass reinforced plastic and carbon fiber rather than traditional steel.

The multi million dollar modernization will give the one hundred twenty acre facility the capacity to build entire ships from composites. New jobs will number in the hundreds.

Dr. Philip Dur heads Northrop Grumman's Ship Systems division.

"At least several hundred jobs and my hope is if this really does take off, the way I think it should, we may be talking about even more than that over time," he explained.

The State of Mississippi showed its support for Northrop Grumman's expansion plans by helping out with funding. In April, Governor Musgrove signed a bill helping the company secure the first of a three year state financing plan.

"And Northrop Grumman, we want to thank you for investing your faith and confidence in us, as we have invested our faith and confidence in you," said Governor Musgrove.

Northrop Grumman is one of the leading designers of an all-composite Littoral Combat Ship for the United States Navy. The company is bidding to become the sole manufacturer of that ship at its Gulfport facility.

By Steve Phillips

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