Shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSCO opened up hiring for 800 to 1,000 workers to build $4 billion in Navy support ships and tankers and could see its San Diego shipyard reach one of its highest employment levels to date.
NASSCO’s San Diego yard has seen its workforce drop by 500 to 3,100, but that figure could soar to one of its highest levels with new hires — 4,100 according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. With the Trump administration aimed at increased spending on ship maintenance, NASSCO could see even more growth.
NASSCO chief spokesman Dennis DuBard says current contracts extend to 2024, marking “the longest list of steady work that [they’ve] had in awhile,” according to the report. On the list for hiring are welders, electricians, shipfitters, and even workers looking to develop their skills. Working at McDonald’s? According to DuBard, NASSCO could be looking to hire you.
The company will build “six next-generation fleet oiler ships, work that’s worth about $3.4 billion when engineering is factored in,” according to the Tribune report. And that is not all: the Navy is looking at building another 20 “oilers,” a project that could easily go to NASSCO for around $11 billion. Additional Navy projects could be on the horizon for the company as well, and the company has commercial projects already in the works.
One of NASSCO’s most significant challenges could be finding the workers it wants to hire, as San Diego’s unemployment rate has shrunk to 3.4 percent, the lowest point in almost two decades. Meanwhile, neighboring BAE Systems ship repair yard has also announced plans to hire about 100 workers.
NASSCO San Diego boasts the largest shipyard on the West Coast of the United States. It has been “designing and building ships in San Diego’s industrial corridor since 1960,” according to the company’s website. Specializations include “design and construction of auxiliary and support ships for the U.S. Navy and oil tankers and dry cargo carriers for commercial markets.” It also provides repair services for the Navy.
President Donald Trump’s administration saw the United States pick up more than one million jobs in its first six months. The four week moving average of new unemployment claims dropped to an almost five decade low at the end of February of this year. Trump touted the lowest black unemployment rate since the number has been recorded during his January State of the Union address. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures verify this fact. The Commerce Department reported this past week that the country’s economy grew at a greater speed than previously estimated with a GDP rate of 2.9 percent.