General Dynamics NASSCO will be adding nearly 1,000 jobs in the near future. The shipbuilder is beginning work on the first of six new Fleet Oilers for the U.S. Navy this week.
“It’s a lot of great work for us. It is an auxiliary ship for the military sealift command portion of the Navy so we are very excited about that program,” says Dennis Dubard, Manager of Government and Public Relations at General Dynamics NASSCO.
Fleet Oilers supply U.S. Navy surface combatant ships at sea allowing them to remain at sea and combat ready for extended periods of time.
NASSCO was awarded the contract in 2016 to be built at a cost of about $600 million each. It will be a $3 billion contract if completely fulfilled through the next decade.
These new ships and contracts for repairs and modernization on three other San Diego-based Navy ships means NASSCO is hiring says Dubard. “We anticipate, at least on the hiring side, about 800 to 1,000 new employees over time.”
While the bulk hiring will begin next year, some of the 300 workers laid off earlier this year when there was a work slowdown are already starting to be recalled.
NASSCO employee Omar Haro says that is a good thing for a business that can be cyclical. “Especially for all those people who got laid off. They get to get back to work now," he says.
The engines and power plant onboard the new Fleet Oilers will be more fuel-efficient than the current Oilers, says Dubard. The Oilers are also double-hulled to give environmental protection in the event there’s a spill.
The Navy has also contracted with NASSCO for repairs on three other San Diego-based ships including the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard, which is also being modernized to accommodate the F-35B Strike Fighter.
“The fact that we've got this work means some great opportunity for some folks living here in the community in San Diego to have a great career and have an opportunity to provide for their families,” says Dubard.