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Gov. Edwards Announces Gulf Island to Expand Shipyard Workforce Near Houma 

Shipbuilding project will add 106 new direct jobs in Terrebonne Parish 

BATON ROUGE — Wednesday, Gov. John Bel Edwards and Gulf Island Fabrication Inc. President and CEO Richard W. Heo announced the company will expand its Shipyard Division workforce near Houma. The company will create 106 new direct jobs at an average annual salary of $48,000, plus benefits, to accommodate orders for marine vessel construction. Those orders include ferries, university research vessels funded by the National Science Foundation, and towing, salvage and rescue ships for the U.S. Navy.

Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 123 new indirect jobs, for a total of 229 new jobs for Terrebonne Parish and the Bayou Region. Gulf Island also is retaining 308 existing jobs at its Shipyard Division facility along the Houma Navigation Canal.

“Gulf Island has long been recognized as a leader in the construction and repair of marine vessels,” Gov. Edwards said. “Shipyards have been a pillar of our coastal economy for many years, and this employment expansion at the company’s shipyard facility near Houma is welcome news for Terrebonne Parish and the surrounding area. Gulf Island should find our skilled workforce in the Bayou Region ready and able to take on the shipyard’s increasing workload.”

Skilled workers can click here to apply for available positions, including ship fitter, welder, tacker and pipe fitter. In addition, a company career fair supported by LED FastStart® will be held Thursday, Oct. 29, from noon to 6 p.m. at Fletcher Technical Community College on 331 Dickson Road in Houma.

“We are excited to partner with LED as we look to hire, develop and retain talent in our operations in Louisiana,” Heo said. “This partnership will help build jobs and drive economic investments in the community, especially during these challenging and uncertain times. Due to our long duration contracts with the U.S. Navy and the National Science Foundation, we have an active recruiting effort underway for both professional and skilled craft positions, with an immediate need to hire over 100 craft individuals into our Shipyard Division.”

LED began discussions with Gulf Island about a potential workforce expansion in June 2020. To secure the project, the State of Louisiana offered a competitive incentive package that includes the comprehensive solutions of LED FastStart – the nation’s No. 1 state workforce development program for the past 11 years. The company also is expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs Program.

“Gulf Island is a key player in an important industry for our area, so this expansion is welcome news,” Terrebonne Parish President Gordon E. Dove said. “This project aligns with our commitment to attracting quality jobs for our skilled workforce in Terrebonne Parish. We look forward to Gulf Island’s continued success here as our local economy moves in the right direction.”

“With Gulf Island’s storied history in Terrebonne Parish, we are thrilled the company is renewing its commitment to grow in Terrebonne Parish,” said CEO Matt Rookard of the Terrebonne Economic Development Authority. “This announcement underscores the importance of working with our existing industry base to help them grow and add more good-paying, skilled jobs in our community. Gulf Island’s investment will have positive effects through the local economy.”

“Gulf Island’s workforce expansion to complete a backlog of ships during an oil and gas downturn indicates not only the quality of work the Bayou Region continues to produce relative to fabrication and manufacturing of vessels, but also the diversification we’re seeing from businesses who’ve traditionally worked in oil and gas,” said Vic Lafont, president and CEO of the South Louisiana Economic Council.

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