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Marinette mayor doesn't expect new shipyard jobs to come "for a few years"

President Trump visited Fincatieri Marinette Marine on Thursday to speak to employees, families and community members about the latest frigate contract.
Posted at 6:21 PM, Jun 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-26 19:21:47-04

MARINETTE, Wis. (NBC 26) -- President Trump promised that the latest frigate contract awarded to Fincatieri Marinette Marine would bring one thousand jobs to the Wisconsin shipyard, but those jobs might not be open for three to four years.

"Well like any company, to bring a thousand new workers or even convert some of those positions in to permanent takes a lot of time," Mayor Steve Genisot said. "We certainly have to build buildings to accommodate then we've got different contracts that are winding down and winding up."

Currently, the Marinette shipyard continues to manufacture LCS, or littoral combat ships, for the U.S. Navy. That work will continue for the next "two to three years," according to James Golembeski, executive director of the Bay Area Workforce Development Board.

Balancing that contract as well as future obligations and expansion projects at the Marinette shipyard has caused shifts in work schedules in order to preserve the workforce currently employed ahead of the increased efforts to come, according to the Mayor's office.

Golembeski thinks that interested applicants should take advantage of the time between now and the jobs actually hitting the market to develop deeper skills required for the manufacturing work.

As of June 26, the Job Center of Wisconsin lists 1,205 "Production Occupations" available on their website, the most of any category listed. Within that category exists subcategories like assemblers and fabricators, metal and plastic workers, supervisors, and printing workers.

Because of this "mismatch" as Golembeski calls it between Wisconsin's unemployed and available jobs, the Bay Area Workforce Development Board emphasizes proper career planning and job training in order to craft successful re-employment.

"We have to invest in the training to get people over from where they're unemployed and in to these really good jobs," Golembeski said. "In some cases, they're going to be looking for people who have relatively few skills, but they're going to look for those basic employ-ability skills: showing up, having a good attitude, being dependable, communicating, that kind of stuff."

Golembeski says the Bay Area Workforce Development Board helps administer nearly $1 million of the state budget allocated to Fincatieri Marinette Marine to train employees on deeper skills in order to work up within the company.

For those looking to apply externally for roles that require more developed skills, "like welders and electricians and machine techs," according to Golembeski, now is the time to utilize programs and classes at local technical schools and develop your candidacy.