DECEMBER 7, 2012 — The ceremonial shovels were out in Pascagoula, Miss., this week as VT Halter Marine held a ground breaking ceremony for a new ship repair facility that will create 400 jobs.
"I am excited VT Halter Marine is expanding its operations on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and creating 400 new jobs," said Missisippi Governor Phil Bryant. "VT Halter Marine is a long-standing, valued member of Mississippi's business community, and I am grateful to company officials for their ongoing commitment to our state."
"We are now realizing an important part of VT Halter Marine's five-year strategic plan to develop a full service repair facility to complement our existing new construction facility," said Bill Skinner, VT Halter Marine chief executive officer. "We are grateful to all of our local, state and federal partners that made this opportunity possible."
The company has three ship construction facilities, all located in Mississippi, with one facility in Pascagoula and two in Moss Point. The new ship repair facility, which is being constructed at the company's Pascagoula location, is expected to be operational by March 2014.
The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) provided assistance through the Hurricane Katrina Community Development Block Grant (K-CDBG) program for infrastructure improvements related to the project.
"VT Halter Marine's ongoing investment in its Mississippi operations is a testament to the strength of our state's business climate and the quality of our skilled workforce," said Brent Christensen, MDA executive director. "MDA is proud to have provided assistance for this project, and we thank our partners at the Port of Pascagoula, Jackson County Board of Supervisors and the Jackson County Economic Development Foundation who worked to help make this new ship repair facility a reality. We look forward to watching VT Halter Marine and our state's shipbuilding industry continue to thrive on the Gulf Coast."
VT Halter Marine's three Gulf Coast facilities are Halter Marine Pascagoula, Halter Moss Point and Moss Point Marine shipyards, all of which build vessels ranging from 200 to 720 feet through modular fabrication to maximize productivity. The company currently has more than 2,000 employees at its Mississippi operations, with additional contractors and government personnel on site.