Austalian-based Austal USA, a shipbuilder that designs and manufactures defense and commercial vessels and also provides vessel maintenance and management services, plans to add up to 1,000 new full-time jobs at its Mobile, Alabama facility.
During the last four years, the shipbuilder has made more than $100 million in investments in its facility. Austal recently opened three new facilities at its Mobile River complex, greatly enhancing the size and scope of the company's operations. Its complex at 1 Dunlap Drive, located on a channel at the mouth of Mobile Bay, includes a 700,000 square-foot module manufacturing facility, a 59,000 square-foot assembly bay and a 108,000 square-foot office complex.
Gov. Robert Bentley said the state and shipbuilder entered into a five-year, $5 million agreement that will help Austal continue its workforce expansion efforts, called the Phase V Agreement. As part of the agreement, the company will also receive employee training services from the Alabama Industrial Development Training program. Once the overall expansion is completed at Austal, total employment at the Mobile complex is expected to reach approximately 4,600 people.
"With this new project agreement, we are creating new jobs and new opportunities for the people of Alabama," Bentley said. "We are moving forward with our Accelerate Alabama plan for long-term economic development. We are committed to creating a broad range of new jobs while also supporting existing companies. Austal USA's plans for expansion fit perfectly in the Accelerate Alabama plan. The company is a leader in building defense and commercial vessels, and we appreciate leaders at Austal for strengthening their commitment to Alabama."
"Since forming an official public-private partnership with the State of Alabama, Mobile County, and the City of Mobile, Austal's employment numbers have increased from just over 100 to nearly 3,000, and we are working to grow our operation to more than 4,000," Austal USA's Interim President and Chief Financial Officer, Brian Leathers, said. "The success of this partnership represents the American dream of hope and opportunity along the Alabama Gulf Coast. Austal is very appreciative of the support of Governor Bentley, the Alabama Department of Commerce, Alabama Industrial Development Training, and those within the Governor's Administration who are responsible for the success of the Phase V Agreement."
An Australian-based shipbuilder, Austal USA established a presence in Mobile in 1999 and currently employs nearly 3,000 people building warships for the U.S. Navy. Under a current project agreement, the employment total is expected to reach approximately 3,600 people.