Submarine maker to add jobs with $39 billion backlog in work

President Kevin Graney is seen on November 6, 2020 at Electric Boat’s Quonset Point complex. File photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

GROTON, Conn. (AP) — The General Dynamics Electric Boat division plans to add 2,200 jobs this year in Connecticut and Rhode Island as it tackles a $39 billion backlog of work, the submarine maker’s top executive said Monday.

Kevin Graney, EB’s president, made the announcement during a video briefing for stakeholders.

He said Electric Boat is facing the largest backlog of work in its history, with orders to build two new ballistic missile submarines and 19 new attack submarines, 11 of which are currently under construction.

The company added more than 2,000 jobs a year ago, much of it at the company’s Quonset Point site in Rhode Island.

The new jobs will include shipyard workers, engineers and support staff and EB expects to be in a “stable hiring mode pretty much for the next decade,” Graney said.

“We’re going to need to sustain the Rhode Island workforce as we grow the Connecticut workforce,” he said.

Electric Boat employs more than 17,000 people, including about 12,000 at its Groton shipyard and more than 4,000 in Rhode Island.

Congress has increased funding for submarine programs from about $11.1 billion during the last fiscal year to $11.6 billion this fiscal year.

Members of Connecticut’s all-Democrat congressional delegation, who took part in the video conference, said the defense contractor can expect to continue receiving work under the Biden administration.

“It may be unmanned as well as manned weapons platforms, but the future of the submarine is critically important,” U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said.