A message from Dr. Steve Kagen to the people of Northeast Wisconsin:
If you have not already heard, we received great news last week: the U.S. Navy announced it was awarding a contract to Marinette Marine to build ten new Littoral Combat Ships (LCS).
I have had the honor of working on this project with my colleague, Representative Bart Stupak, since being elected. I am proud to have played a key role in helping to bring thousands of higher-wage jobs to Northeast Wisconsin.
Over the next several years, thousands of new shipbuilding jobs will be created here in Northeast Wisconsin, with over 5,000 additional jobs also appearing across related industries.
The LCS is a fast, flexible and innovative ship, designed to support our national defense in shallow waters anywhere on Earth. The LCS is prepared to become involved in activities that include anti-submarine warfare, drug smuggling, and pirate situations. It will also be able to support Army and Marine troops on the ground by providing fire support from the sea, relaying communications around the world, and supporting unmanned aerial vehicles like Predator drones.
The LCS will also be a valuable tool in keeping vital waterways like the Persian Gulf clear for travel, and will also be able to get close to shore and insert or pick up special operations forces in hostile areas around the world.
One reason the Navy selected Marinette Marine is the great reputation our shipyard has with regard to quality workmanship and being able to design new modules during the process of construction.
For Northeast Wisconsin – the word of the week is JOBS.
Marinette Marine expects to hire 2,100 employees over the next couple of years in Marinette and Sturgeon Bay, and subcontractors in the area will see an increased demand for their products and services. All told, these ten ships will spur an additional 5,000 jobs around the region at a time when we all agree they are much needed. Each ship Marinette builds will pump almost $300 million into our local economy and will positively impact Wisconsin’s manufacturing base.
With this critical contract, we should also see the positive effect of our investment in worker training programs that have trained displaced workers in welding and other industrial skills that will translate to the jobs being created.
It takes a real partnership to accomplish what we did last week, and by working together public and private entities have created higher-wage jobs right here in Northeast Wisconsin, where the LCS ship will now be Wisconsin Made- Wisconsin Great.
U.S. Congressman Steve Kagen, M.D.