PITTSFIELD, Mass. /Massachusetts Newswire/ — Governor Deval Patrick today joined with Senator John Kerry, Pittsfield Mayor James Ruberto, U.S. Navy Commander Mike Riley, and more than 1,000 General Dynamics employees and suppliers to celebrate the recent Littoral Combat Ship contract awarded to General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems. The contract will create 500 jobs in Pittsfield and help to stimulate the regional Berkshires economy.
“This is a great victory for General Dynamics, for Pittsfield and for the Commonwealth. Senator Kerry and Mayor Ruberto were strong allies, and the Obama Administration came through once again for jobs and opportunity,” said Governor Patrick.
“For the Navy, this means new class of small, high-speed, stealthy ships, capable of many different missions, just what the Navy needs to complement its larger ships as we rebuild our armed forces to meet the challenges of the 21st century. And for Massachusetts, it means the creation of 350 to 500 new jobs in the Pittsfield area, jobs that Western Massachusetts desperately needs, jobs that will be a shot in the arm for families and friends, at a time when they need it,” said Senator John Kerry. “That’s why Governor Patrick, Mayor Ruberto, and I worked so hard to make this day a reality.”
In December, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems received the U.S. Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program award and is now under contract to construct 10 specialized combat ships. This award will allow the company to create 500 new high tech jobs at its facility in Pittsfield over the next five years, increasing its current workforce by nearly 50 percent and supporting greater economic development opportunities for the Berkshires as a whole. The Littoral ships are estimated to cost $500 million each to build, and the Navy is seeking to acquire a fleet of 55 such ships.
“500 new, high skilled, good paying jobs is a big win for Pittsfield and Berkshire County,” said Mayor James Ruberto. “We appreciate the work of Governor Patrick, Senator Kerry, and Congressman Olver and the top-talent of the General Dynamics team on putting together this proposal and navigating through the complicated procurement process.”
With over 1,000 employees, 390 hired in the last three years, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems is one of the Berkshires’ largest and most vital employers. The company has been a leading supplier of sophisticated defense systems to the United States for over 50 years. General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems is one of four businesses in the Information Systems and Technology (IS&T) group. IS&T is one of four main business segments of General Dynamics that works closely with the U.S. Department of Defense, intelligence, maritime and homeland security communities to deliver end-to-end solutions in mission systems integration, development and operations support; and routinely bids on federal contracts that help boost the company’s employment.
“General Dynamics appreciates the commitment of Senator Kerry, Senator Brown, Governor Patrick, Congressman Olver, Senator Downing and Mayor Ruberto in championing our capabilities and highlighting the positive economic impact that this award will have on our region,” said Michael Tweed-Kent, Vice President and General Manager of the Mission Integration Systems division of General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems.
Today’s event demonstrates the potential advanced manufacturing has to be a leading sector in the Commonwealth’s increasingly robust economic recovery. Currently, the manufacturing sector is the sixth largest employer in Massachusetts. Along with targeted investments in innovation, the life sciences and high-tech sectors, support for advanced manufacturing – which includes the Governor’s creation of the Advanced Manufacturing Initiative, a public-private collaboration aimed at promoting competitiveness within the sector, and new state-funded loan options for manufacturers – will promote job creation, export growth and economic development throughout Massachusetts.
To learn more about the Governor’s job creation and economic growth initiatives, visit www.mass.gov/governor/jobs.