In his forecast to lawmakers, Electric Boat President Jeff Geiger said declining defense budgets and cuts out of Washington create an uncertain environment for the company.
That said, with a backlog of 17 Virginia-class subs to build, Electric Boat will hire up to 600 people just this year. The problem, Geiger says, is filling those jobs. “We’re able to attract a large number of applicants, but it’s a pretty small percentage that we would consider qualified,” said Geiger.
Geiger called the $17.6 billion contract for Virginia-class subs the largest in the U.S. Navy’s history. Electric Boat has already delivered eleven V-class subs.
Electric Boat has a total of 12,800 employees, with 3,400 of them in Rhode Island. Geiger said the company did business with 83 suppliers in Rhode Island, spending $43.5 million in the state over the last five years.
Geiger said Electric Boat will build a dozen replacements for the Ohio-class submarines, and that will ramp up hiring into the thousands starting around 2020.
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