Last Friday the Sun Herald reported the results of a survey conducted by the Gulf Coast Business Council. Nearly half of the 155 executives who responded expect the economy to grow during the next six months.
As if to validate that optimism, Ingalls Shipbuilding President Irwin F. Edenzon announced Friday at the Ingalls career day the company will hire thousands of employees within the next two years.
"We're hiring," Edenzon said. "We're going to hire about 1,200 people here in the next few months and about 4,000 over the next two years. There are jobs here."
Ingalls expanded work force is especially good news for the Coast economy. Ingalls' payroll consists of highly-skilled and well-paid positions that can create an economic tide capable of lifting many boats.
The need for so many new employees at Ingalls, Edenzon said, comes from new shipbuilding contracts that Ingalls received. The company also has bid on a contract for another five destroyers. In addition to new contracts, Ingalls has a backlog of work that will keep workers busy for the next few years.
"As long as the nation believes we need a strong Navy, we'll have a strong shipyard," Edenzon said.
The Business Council also cited a report from the Mississippi Department of Revenue that shows the Coast has added more than 5,000 jobs since September 2011. That too should serve as a confidence booster.
Few employers can have the impact of an Ingalls. That's why small businesses are so important to the health of any economy.
And together, our largest and smallest employers are showing their confidence in the future where it matters most -- by enlarging their payrolls, whether with one cashier or hundreds of welders at a time.
This editorial represents the views of the Sun Herald editorial board,which consists of President-Publisher Glen Nardi,Vice President and Executive Editor Stan Tiner,Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Flora S. Point,Circulation and Human Resources Director Wanda Howell,Marketing and Interactive Director John McFarland and Associate Editor Tony Biffle. Opinions expressed by columnists, cartoonists and letter writers are their own.
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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