Local manufacturers are being urged to consider offering their services to Electric Boat as the shipyard ramps up production in coming years.
The U.S. Commerce Department will host a summit later this month to give Connecticut-based suppliers more information about qualifying to work for the sub builder. Electric Boat just signed the biggest contract ever awarded by the Navy to build two submarines a year for the next five years.
Second district Congressman Joe Courtney said the contract should be seen as an opportunity by local supply chain companies. "With that sort of stability," he told WNPR, "and the volume, and the funding, there really is a better opportunity for suppliers who maybe shied away from bidding on projects because they weren’t sure of the stability of the acquisition by the Navy."
Anne Evans of the Commerce Department in Connecticut said many of these companies are already working for big aerospace companies like Pratt and Whitney, but they've never considered Navy work. "Many of our local suppliers, particularly our aerospace suppliers," she said, "have not even looked at [the question], am I suitable to sell to Electric Boat? Diversity is key in keeping your company strong, because you can’t just have one or two customers; you have to have many."
The summit will be held at UConn's Avery Point Campus on June 16.