One Thousand New Jobs to the Port of Gulfport
One thousand new full-time jobs, average salaries of $40,000 a year, that was part of a major announcement by Governor Phil Bryant today for the Port of Gulfport. This is all thanks to a $68 million investment by Edison Chouest Offshore. News 25’s Kristen Durand reports.
Eighteen months to two years from now, Port tenant Topship will be in full operation, bringing 1,000 jobs to the Port of Gulfport. “This Gulf Coast economy is one of the most diversified in the world. We build some of the most advanced warships on the planet. We test rocket ships. It is a huge destination location for entertainment. Now ship building is helping lead the economy back to its strongest point in Mississippi’s history,” said Governor Phil Bryant.
On February 5th, the Mississippi Legislature voted on an incentive package in support of the project. Monday morning, Governor Bryant was joined by Edison Chouest Offshore CEO Gary Chouest and elected officials to seal the deal.
The 116 acre inland facility will serve as home to Topship and the thousand new full-time jobs. Port of Gulfport CEO Jonathan Daniels said, “They are going to be very well-paying jobs. This is the type of company that makes investments and they make investments for the long haul. This is a 40 year agreement that we have in place with them.”
These new jobs will bring the Port of Gulfport to about 95 percent of the required 1,300 jobs set by HUD. HUD Community Planning and Development Specialist Donna Roachford said, “We have always been confident that they would meet that goal and to hear this announcement today just really puts icing on the cake.”
This is something Edison Chouest Offshore is happy to be a part of. President and CEO Gary Chouest said, “Look at some of the unemployment numbers, especially with the slowdown in the oil and gas industry, it gets to be a little discouraging if you only have one act. We’re fortunate enough to where our company has many different aspects to it and we’re in a position along with the governor and the elected officials in the community to lay the groundwork for the future and that’s what today is about.”
Construction starts this year. They’re looking to hire pipe-fitters, welders, HVAC workers and electricians.