As Navy pushes for 355-ship fleet, local shipbuilders and repair yards band together

NORFOLK, Va. - Local shipbuilding and ship repair industries throughout the region are banding together as the Navy continues to push for a 355-ship fleet expansion plan.

The American Builds & Repairs Great Ships is a regional effort to bring together the Navy, ship builders, ship repair yards, labor forces, suppliers and others to figure out the talent required for the 355-ship goal and ensure there's a pipeline of workers ready to fill the expected jobs into the future.

The group is focused on figuring out what the demand will be for various workers; developing plans to recruit, hire, and train those workers; and sharing best practices.

The group plans to hold a launch conference next week in Portsmouth.

In June, Senator Tim Kaine hosted a symposium in Hampton focused on what Hampton Roads needed to do to prepare for a bigger Navy.

Earlier this month, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office released an analysis of the Navy's FY2019 Shipbuilding Plan that calls for expanding the fleet to 355 ships. That plan covers 2019 to 2048.

The CBO estimates it will cost about $28.9 billion in 2018 dollars to carry out the plan over the next 30 years.

You can read more about the CBO report here.