Westport Shipyard to add jobs and expand

HOQUIAM, Wash. – The Westport Shipyard plans to add 100 new jobs in Hoquiam, Wash., next year and nearly double the space of its facility at the Port of Grays Harbor, the Daily World Writer reported in recent story.

The jobs would be contingent on finding the space to expand, but company officials seemed confident earlier this week that they would find the room, according to the story.

In addition to the new jobs in Hoquiam, the shipyard plans to expand its facility in Port Angeles and hire an additional 140 workers there in the next two years, according to Dan Lockhart, Westport Shipyard’s general manager, the newspaper reported.

The expansion is part of an effort to consolidate yacht lines at specific centers, company officials said. The company’s 130-foot yachts will still be built entirely in Westport. The company’s 112-foot yachts, which are currently started in Westport and then finished in Hoquiam, would be entirely concentrated in Hoquiam, Westport Vice President Tami Higgins told the newspaper.

The shipyard presently has about 530 employees working in Westport and Hoquiam, according to the Grays Harbor Economic Development Council Web site. All together, the shipyard currently employs more than 800 employees that work for the company in Westport, Hoquiam and Port Angeles, plus sales offices in Seattle and Florida, according to the story.

How much an expansion or new facility will cost isn’t immediately known, though the company would like to start construction next year.

Westport Shipyard currently leases 54,000 square feet from the Port of Grays Harbor along the Port Industrial Road. Lockhart said in order to accommodate an increased production in yachts, the company needs to expand out to 90,000 square feet or build a new facility that large, according to the story.

If the shipyard has to build a new facility, Lockhart said the goal is to stay in Hoquiam and keep it as close to the current building as possible.

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