Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin today toured the Marinette Marine Corp. shipyard in Marinette where she was briefed on the company's work on the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and other projects.
Baldwin had been a strong advocate for bringing the Navy's LCS contract work to Marinette Marine and other Wisconsin suppliers, including Fairbanks Morse Engine (FME) in Beloit.
Before touring the shipyard, Baldwin was briefed by Marinette Marine President and CEO Chuck Goddard on the LCS program, as well as on some of the company's other current projects, including a research vessel for the University of Alaska and a survey vessel for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
"I am tremendously proud of the work being done at Marinette Marine and other Wisconsin companies in support of our national security," said Baldwin. "I have long argued forcefully for the U.S. government to buy products made in America. The work being done in Marinette and throughout Wisconsin to support the LCS program boosts our economy and strengthens our national security. When given the opportunity, Wisconsin workers can compete successfully against any in the world," Baldwin said.
The LCS is a type of relatively small vessel intended for operations in the littoral zone (close to shore). It is to be an integral part of the U.S. Navy's 21st Century fleet - a swift, stealthy, and agile ship that can operate in water as shallow as 20 feet, adaptable to a variety of missions and objectives.
In the peak production year of 2014, the Marinette Marine LCS program (one of two such programs in the country) will account for nearly 4,000 jobs in Wisconsin, adding $3 billion to the state's economy. In addition, each ship built here involves 125 Wisconsin suppliers.
"We warmly welcome the opportunity for congressional representatives to see with their own eyes the quality workmanship of our talented workforce here at Marinette Marine Corporation," said Chuck Goddard, President and CEO of Marinette Marine Corporation. "These men and women are passionate about the work they do, and equally committed to our customers' missions in the areas of defense, national security, and academia," Goddard said.
"Marinette Marine's LCS program is a prime example of using tax dollars wisely," said Congresswoman Baldwin. "Marinette Marine's government contracts create good jobs here in Wisconsin, boost our economy at the state and local levels, and assure that vital national security work is being done by some of our most skilled and most dedicated workers. As Congress considers how to spend tax dollars smartly, I will continue to support investing in the Marinette Marine LCS program which provides so much bang for the buck," Baldwin said.