The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded approximately $5 million to the State of Mississippi in an effort to modernize the shipbuilding industry across the state.
The funding, which comes as a part of the DoD’s Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program, will also be used to specifically target workforce development initiatives to increase the defense sector’s capacity, capability, and resilience.
U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., praised the DoD’s grant of $4,999,634 in funds as well as the additional $1.8 million match from the state.
“Mississippi’s shipbuilders are the finest in the nation, but developing and retaining our talent requires long-term investment,” Wicker said. “I am glad the Department of Defense is making our shipbuilding mission a priority, and I am confident that this grant will help enhance our industrial capacity and strengthen our workforce. I look forward to seeing Mississippi lead in building the world’s strongest fleet.”
“This sizeable influx of Defense Department resources will strengthen the hand of this Mississippi shipbuilding consortium to prepare more shipbuilders to be part of the stronger national security industrial base our nation must have,” Hyde-Smith said. “Ultimately, we want to ensure there are more opportunities for more men and women to join the powerhouse that is Mississippi’s shipbuilding industry.”
AccelerateMS will lead a newly-formed Mississippi Shipbuilding Industry Preparedness for National Security (MS-SHIPS) Consortium, alongside the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, which will serve as the grant’s fiscal agent.
The MS-SHIPS Consortium is composed of 30 organizations including defense manufacturers and suppliers, academic institutions, government agencies, economic development organizations, and nonprofits.