Openings for up to 100 Gulf Coast workers at Westport

WESTPORT, Wash. – Yacht builder Westport Shipyard can hire up to 100 qualified Gulf Coast marine manufacturing workers who lost jobs as a result of Hurricane Katrina, the company reported in a statement yesterday.

“For those skilled in marine and related trades, we are happy to help them and their families relocate and settle here to become part of our Westport family,” said Tami Higgins, vice president of administration for Westport Shipyard. “With the assistance of the community, we are putting together relocation packages. Several members of the shipyard team also have offered to open their homes to welcome our new teammates and help them get back on their feet.”

The Gulf Coast is home to several shipyards and marine manufacturing facilities, many of which suffered extensive damage from the hurricane and its aftermath. In addition, Northrop Grumman, which operates several Gulf Coast shipyards, had announced just days before the hurricane hit that it would be cutting 2,000 jobs from its large military shipyards in Avondale and Pascagoula, Miss., Westport explained. Many of the now-devastated shipyards along the Gulf Coast were expected to absorb the Northrop job losses.

“We’d like to give some of the families in those hardest hit areas a chance to start a new life in Washington state,” said Daryl Wakefield, president of Westport Shipyard. “Most of those who survived the storm have lost their homes and their jobs, and there’s a great potential that their skills would be a fit here at Westport Shipyard.”

Westport Shipyard is specifically looking for workers who have experience in administration, production support, design, project management, carpentry, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, fiberglass lamination and painting, or aluminum welding and fabrication. Marine experience is preferred, but experience in RV, bus, aircraft or modular home manufacturing will also be taken into account. The shipyard is considering workers with experience in construction, assembly and other manufacturing-related fields as well.

Westport Shipyard provides full-time, year-round, family-wage jobs with benefits, performance bonuses and advancement opportunities. The shipyard said it has a strong need for employees with marine trades skills to help sustain its steady growth.

For more information about job and relocation opportunities, contact the Westport Shipyard Human Resources Department at or P.O. Box 308, Westport, WA 98595; phone 360-268-1800 ext. 2012; fax 360-268-1189. Or contact the Port Angeles Human Resources Department at or 637 Marine Drive, Port Angeles, WA 98363; phone 360-452-5095; fax 360-452-9534.

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