$20 million bond backs Ingalls' 'Shipyard of the Future'

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The following is the text of a news release from Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII):

(PASCAGOULA, Miss.) — Gov. Phil Bryant visited Huntington Ingalls Industries' Ingalls Shipbuilding division Thursday to participate in a ceremonial signing of a $20 million bond bill supporting Ingalls' "Shipyard of the Future" project.

The investment will go toward current building improvements, new covered facilities providing better work areas for shipbuilders, and enabling more work to be accomplished out of the weather. The infrastructure improvements also include a new dry dock that will allow Ingalls to translate and launch ships from various locations in the shipyard.

"The state of Mississippi is proud to support Ingalls Shipbuilding and an industry that employs thousands of Mississippians and helps defend our nation," Bryant said. "Ingalls employees from the Gulf Coast and across the state are the best shipbuilders in the world, and Mississippi is proud of the work they do. The effects of this bill will last well into the future, where ships built because of the actions taken today will protect and serve America and the world tomorrow."

HII will match the state's investment on a 2-to-1 scale.

"Mississippi's financial investment in our 'Shipyard of the Future' project will help maintain jobs and supplier opportunities in Pascagoula and across Mississippi for years to come," said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. "These changes will not only improve the quality of life for our shipbuilders to make them more efficient, but they will enable us to support Navy affordability targets and make us more competitive in future bidding efforts."

Ingalls is the state's largest private employer, providing jobs for 11,000 employees in Pascagoula. Ingalls has spent $457 million with 250 suppliers in 22 counties in Mississippi over the past five years and had an estimated $1 billion 2014 total annual economic impact on the state.

By Professional Mariner Staff