Electric Boat Submarine Deal Good for Rhode Island Economy - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

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Electric Boat Submarine Deal Good for Rhode Island Economy

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by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis

mcurtis@abc6.com or @markcurtisABC6 

This was the first keel laying ceremony, in what will eventually be 10. That's how many brand new, nuclear submarines the Navy has ordered from Electric Boat.

The number one priority - boosting the nation's military might.

"It requires special facilities and special people with the expertise that comes only from dedication and years of experience," said Jeff Geiger, CEO of Electric Boat.

"Obviously the Virginia–class submarine program is vitally important to our national security," said Congressman Jim Langevin, (D) Rhode Island.

The Illinois will be all done next year, with Electric Boat workers pledged to building two submarines each succeeding year.

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, "While this event was steeped in colorful military pomp and ceremony, the story is also about economic development."

Electric Boat's employment in the Ocean State may soon exceed four- thousand, and about four hundred Rhode Islanders also work at the facility in Groton, Connecticut.

Current workers are excited.

"I love it. I started here three years ago. I've been told that I probably will retire from here. And I am hoping that – knock on wood, that that happens," said Electric Boat worker Chris Levenseller.

"It weighs on me everyday that we still have a lot of work to do, to turn our economy around, getting people back to work and every bit helps. Clearly, this is going to be a big shot in the arms of the economy here," said Congressman Langevin.

An additional 450 new workers in Rhode Island could swell to 600 - good news for businesses outside Quonset Point who get new customers, from a boost in employment at Electric Boat.

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