Apr 10, 2010 8:36 PM by Melissa Canone
US. Navy Brings Jobs to Morgan City
Dozens of Iraqi naval sailors will arrive in St.Mary Parish this month to learn to operate Louisiana built boats intended to defend oil platforms in the Persian Gulf. Swiftships Shipbuilders of Morgan City has been awarded a $180 million contract to build nine patrol boats to guard two crucial oil-platform terminals. The contract is not only good for the Navy but also good news to Morgan City. It's creating Beaucoup jobs for the city.
The ship builders in Morgan City have direct orders from the US Navy to build nine boats in 32 months, but swift ships has agreed to make 15. It's a process that usually takes eight to nine months to complete, but with more workers at the shipyard Swiftship executives say they hope to make each boat in less than six. The tall order is creating new jobs. Before the contract, Vice President of business development, Jeffery Perin says the company had fewer than 100 workers, now it's doubled. "Today we have over 250 employees and will approach 300 within the next couple months," said Perin.
Boat building isn't the only thing new workers will do. Swiftships has employed at least 50 more workers to train Iraq naval sailors how to protect their country. "We teach them how to fight fires, how to drive their ship, how to communicate, and how to fight with their weapons," said Perin.
Overall, between Swiftships and it's major contactors, Swiftships will create more than a thousand jobs in Morgan City.