Submarine Capitol Woes - Tough Taxpayer ChoiceLoss of up to 6,000 jobs at Electric Boat within the next three years — 50 percent of current work force will be traumatic for taxpayers in the long run. You had not heard about the 6,000 possibility?
What happens to a C.O.E. (center of excellence) when it undergoes decimation of its workforce?
It reverts to get-by status; talent is lost permanently -and eventually replaced at greater expense.
What is a COE, you ask? The manufacturer who does it best, satisfies the customer most and at the best available cost. This is accomplished by adoption of best practices in administration, engineering design and fabrication techniques. EB remains this nation's sole submarine shipyard while Newport News produces both nuclear attack submarines and nuclear aircraft carriers.
“If you look at the big picture, we have the best Navy in the world, and the best sailors in the world,” said Capt. Sean Sullivan, the commanding officer of the Groton submarine base. “But we have one small problem: we're not building as many ships.”
"I think what makes it different is that the level of workers is already so low," Groton City Mayor Dennis Popp said. "We've handled these kinds of cycles before. But when you're down to 11,000 and you're laying off 20 percent, that's substantial." In the last 35 years, EB has seen its work force rise and fall based on submarine production. In its heyday during the 1980s, the company was the region's largest employer with more than 25,000 workers. Throughout the decade, the company's work force held steady. But by the time the 1990s rolled around, the end of the Cold War and submarine production slowing, the company's employment levels begin slipping. They fell dramatically throughout the 1990s, hitting a low point of 9,103 at the start of 2000.