PASCAGOULA --Irwin F. Edenzon, the new sector vice president over Northrop Grumman's Gulf Coast shipyards, said last week his role will be to support his workers so that they can build the best ships possible.
But a priority will be to recruit workers.
"We need to be able to find, recruit and retain a good work force," Edenzon said. "We need more people. And how do we make sure the ones that are here stay and continue doing a good job? And how do we go into the community and into the state to recruit people to come here to work?
"I'd be guessing, but I could use 400 to 500," he said
"In an appeal to business and government leaders in Jackson County, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems President Philip Teel said the Ingalls shipyard needs workers to keep up with the $9 billion backlog of Navy ships it has slated. "At the highest levels of government there are questions of whether we will be able to get that work done in the time frame they need it to be done," Teel told members of the Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce at its annual membership meeting in Moss Point Tuesday. Teel said the Ingalls yard is short 400 craftspeople and 250 salaried positions. He blamed housing and insurance as two big problems. He said the yard has a three-year plan to solve the work force problem." .
The insurance issues are being addressed, but what about the housing?
Biloxi is being rebuilt from the ground up, basically creating an entirely new waterfront city. An estimated 55,000 new homes will need to be built in the next few years, and less than 10,000 (less than 18%) of these homes have already been built. While the dollar value of building permits has exceeded one billion dollars in the Biloxi market, less than fifty two million dollars has been spent on new home construction. That is 341homes. The creation of an almost entirely new oceanfront city is unprecedented in modern American history, as most oceanfront real estate was developed years ago. This is a rare chance to create a brand new community, with none of the problems and disadvantages of real estate that was developed during and for the 19th and 20th centuries, instead of the 21st.