CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – A company that provides support services to the U.S. Navy is expanding its operations in Chesapeake, creating 166 new jobs in the area.
Prism Maritime LLC and Governor Ralph Northam announced the $ 4 million expansion Friday at an event, alongside Congressman Bobby Scott (D-Newport News) and others.
The company, founded in 2006, is headquartered in Chesapeake. It provides a multitude of services for the military and commercial maritime industry, including engineering and research.
Prism will build two new 12,000-square-foot manufacturing, laboratory and storage facilities in the Greenbrier North Commerce Park, according to a statement from the Northam office. The new jobs will be well paid, officials say, and will be in the manufacture, repair and modernization of ships.
“I’m so happy because you bring jobs, jobs, jobs to our state,” said State Senator Lionell Spruill, a Democrat who represents parts of Chesapeake.
Chesapeake has beaten a California site for the company, which is modernizing Navy ships with upgrades to its weapons, combat, radar and communications systems.
“It’s a big problem for Chesapeake, a big problem for Hampton Roads, a big problem for Virginia. It’s announcements like this and investments like this that make Virginia the second-largest state for business. We will do everything we can to maintain this posture, ”Northam said.
Prism President and CEO Ron Lee said the work they do is also important in making sure the Navy meets its goals. This extension will be useful.
“It’s really important for us because it allows us to be part of this growth with the Navy to expand their ships. But in order for the Navy to meet its target for the number of ships it wants, it not only has to build new ships, but it must also ensure that older ships are functioning properly, are properly maintained and modernized, ”he said. he declared.
Prism receives city and state incentives, with support for recruiting and training employees through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
Lee called it “a winner in every way.”
Northam said business expansion may help highlight how well Virginia’s economy has performed during the pandemic.
“We have entered COVID very economically. We learned a lot during COVID. We hope to emerge from COVID from a position of strength. People want to go out and spend their money. We just want them to do it in a safe and responsible manner and our economy will continue to grow, ”he said.
Northam credits the Hampton Roads workforce as one of the reasons Prism chose to expand its facility in Chesapeake.
“The reason companies like this have chosen to be in a place like Chesapeake is because of our workforce,” Northam said. “We have a very talented workforce. We have 23 good community colleges. Now Virginians can attend community college tuition-free. We have great colleges and universities, great leadership. It’s a friendly business environment here in Virginia.
But Lee said they still have a hard time trying to fill jobs. They are, however, working with the state to hire more trained people.
“We have a large training program within our company. We are therefore not only looking for people who are already qualified and experienced. WE are looking for beginners. We will take them and train them, ”he said.
Lee said those jobs range from helping entry-level labor to marine electricians, welders and pipe fitters.
Both installations will be completed by October. Lee said they are currently hiring for the new jobs.
The announcement came just two days after Northam announced Dominion Energy is using the Portsmouth marine terminal as a staging and pre-assembly area for Dominion’s $ 8 billion wind power project off Virginia Beach.