For more than 100 years, our region has been known as the “submarine capital of the world,” and with good reason. As home to the ‘first and finest” submarine base and the shipyard that produced the first nuclear-powered submarine, eastern Connecticut is proud of its legacy of supporting our Navy and building the most advanced submarines in the world.
Today, our region’s submarine industry – from the shipyard in Groton to manufacturers and suppliers in Enfield, Putnam, Bozrah, and across the district – is thriving with new growth and new opportunities. It wasn’t always that way – Joe has worked hard from day one, and every day since, to make this a reality.
Learn more about Joe’s work:
Historic growth at Electric Boat. When Joe first took office, the Electric Boat shipyard – long the anchor of our region’s economy – was facing layoffs and an uncertain future, with a stagnant submarine production rate of one per year and no design and engineering work for future submarines. In his first term, Joe worked with Democrats and Republicans to reverse this harmful trend for our nation and our region, securing nearly $600 million to finally get the Navy working on the initial designs for a new submarine. Those early efforts paid off. Electric Boat now builds two Virginia class submarines a year, and construction is underway on the new Columbia class. The revitalization of this industry has resulted in thousands of new jobs in our district and across the state.
Despite this success, this expansion has hardly been on auto-pilot. We have seen Democratic and Republican presidents propose cuts to submarine building plans that would have harmed our region. Joe, of course, has stepped up every time and fought back – and won. With many critical decisions on the Navy’s budget still ahead, we need Joe’s leadership now more than ever to keep this work on track.
Developing a skilled submarine manufacturing workforce. In 2015, Joe helped convene Electric Boat, other manufacturers, labor organizations, and regional workforce officials to create the Eastern Connecticut Manufacturing Pipeline Initiative. This innovative program provides students with the skills and training needed to meet the needs of local employers, whether at EB or hundreds of other manufacturing sites that have hired pipeline graduates. Over 2,000 students have been placed in good jobs — most of which came to the pipeline with no prior manufacturing experience. Today, the pipeline is a state and national model for workforce training and development.
A bright future for the SUBASE. Before he was elected to Congress, Submarine Base New London was repeatedly threatened with closure. Years of stagnant investment at the base, coupled with uncertainty about the role of submarines in our national security, left the base and its future in doubt. As our Congressman, Joe has opposed all base closing proposals and has won critical new projects, including piers and training facilities, to improve infrastructure at the base and ensure that it remains in service for years to come.
Chairman Courtney. After building a reputation as an effective advocate on maritime and naval issues, Joe became Chairman of the influential House Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee – the first House member from Connecticut to lead the Navy oversight committee in over 150 years. Joe has therefore been at the center of some of the most important debates and decisions about our Navy shipbuilding plans – and, crucially for our region, has used that post to push for submarine design, engineering, construction, and maintenance efforts that are growing our submarine industry. He has worked with Democrats and Republicans alike to boost our Navy shipbuilding plans when they have fallen short under presidents from both parties.