New Contract Boosts Confidence In Jackson County's Economic Recovery

The next generation of ships, for both the Coast Guard and U.S. Navy, will be designed and built in Pascagoula. The Coast Guard contract and a new Navy contract will bring billions of dollars worth of work to Norhtrop Grumman's Ingalls shipyard.

Northrop Grumman's Den Knetch says these contracts bring is long term job security for shipyard workers.

"There will be some immediate increases in employment. Immediately we'll be hiring engineers, and when we get to building the ships there will be an increase in employment in construction areas," said Knetch.

"I think you have to go back to the late 60 to early 70's to find anything comparable to what has been occurring here in the last few months."

News of the new contracts spread fast throughout the community, where almost everyone has a connection to the shipyard. The residents we talked to say it makes everyone feel more confident in the county's economic future. And it's that type of confidence, local leaders says is the most important thing to improving the local economy.

Northrop Grumman officials say these new contracts could bring as many as 2,000 new jobs to the coast.

By: Ken Flanagan

Online Producer: Renee Johnson