PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Business owners in Pascagoula are celebrating Ingalls Shipyard landing a $ 3.1 billion contract to build the next generation of warship. The contract to build the new LHA-8 will reach far beyond the 800 acres that's home to "America's Shipyard." Merchants in downtown Pascagoula will certainly notice the impact.
"Every business is affected by it. Every business," said Mary Poole, who runs Downtown Buffet & Grill.
You can bet that a majority of the customers there have some connection with the nearby shipyard.
"Oh, it's very important. I mean, we really need it. It'll help us out around here. Good news for everybody, that's it," said Poole.
Cathy Albert and Crystal Poole hope the job stability and security at the shipyard translates into more produce sales. They're among the vendors who set-up along the railroad tracks off Pascagoula Street. Shipyard workers, with steady paychecks, are more likely to pick-up some George County watermelons or Chilton County peaches.
"It's very important. Because of the economy, it builds the economy. Be good for the schools, be good for everything," said Albert.
"It's really important. I mean, we really need it. It'll help us out around here," Poole added.
State Senator Brice Wiggins said it's welcome news all around.
"It's high paying jobs, it's technical jobs. And I want to say, Ingalls has done well. They've positioned themselves over the past few years. It's great news not only for Pascagoula, but for all of the State of Mississippi," said Sen. Wiggins.
Huntington Ingalls Industries is America's largest military ship building company. The Pascagoula shipyard has more than 11,000 employees.