NEWPORT NEWS—Following layoffs of more than 300 employees and the demotion of approximately 100 managers at the end of February, Newport News Shipbuilding is now ready to fill more than 2,200 positions by the end of 2021.
This news came in the wake of an announcement on March 29 by the Huntington Ingalls Industries shipbuilding team, which includes its Newport News Shipbuilding division, has been awarded a contract modification in support of construction of the tenth Virginia-class Block V submarine.
In December 2019, Newport News Shipbuilding and their partners at General Dynamics Electric Boat received a $22 billion contract to build nine Virginia-class submarines. The recent contract modification, which includes an option for the last fast-attack submarine of the block, brings the total value of the contract for Newport News to $9.8 billion.
In the new phase of hiring, more than 1,200 trade workers are needed, including welders, ship fitters, deck electricians, painters, and insulators. Another 940 salaried workers will be needed in the areas of engineering and design, nuclear propulsion, quality and integrity planning, and production control.
Newport News Shipbuilding is offering incentives up to $2,500 sign-on bonuses to fill specific trade positions for people with active security clearances.
In an official statement released on social media on February 26, Newport News Shipbuilding President Jennifer Boykin announced that 314 salaried shipbuilders had been laid off, in addition to 119 managers being demoted. The move was made to more evenly distribute management spans and reshape production and support ratios. This was the first reduction of human resources at the shipyard since 2016.
At this time, the shipyard—which currently employs more than 25,000 people—has no plans to rehire the staff members let go in February.