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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Bath Iron Works Gets $34 Million to Bolster Its Workforce

January 4, 2024

(File photo: Bath Iron Works)

(File photo: Bath Iron Works)

Bath Iron Works (BIW) will receive more than $34 million in federal funding for projects aimed at bolstering the Bath, Maine shipyard's workforce.

U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R. - Maine), Vice Chairman of Senate Appropriations Committee and Defense Subcommittee, announced the funding has been approved by the U.S. Navy and included in the Fiscal Year 2023 Defense Appropriations bill as part of a larger initiative to make improvements to the infrastructure of the U.S. shipyards that build the Navy’s destroyers.

BIW, a subsidiary of General Dynamics, primarily builds Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyers for the U.S. Navy.

“The crews of the Bath-built DDG-51 destroyers defending commercial shipping in the Red Sea today serve as vivid reminders of how important it is that the United States maintain a robust shipbuilding capability to support the U.S. Navy,” Collins said. “These workforce investments are aimed at strengthening the backbone of BIW, which is the thousands of dedicated workers who build the world’s most capable combat surface ships.”

Collins said the funding will support the following six workforce projects:

  • Increasing the number of workers trained at BIW apprentice academies;
  • Providing new workers on-the-job training at the shipyard to reduce the training timeline from five years to three years;
  • Funding for 85 new housing units for BIW workers closer to the shipyard;
  • 150 additional year-round childcare slots for BIW workers;
  • Free bus services for BIW employees in the Bath and Brunswick areas; and
  • Other retention improvement activities.

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