SHIPBUILDING

Mississippi offers shipbuilders access to more than 15 ports located along the Gulf Coast, the Mississippi River and the Tennessee-Tombigbee waterway. Two ports along the Coast provide deep-water access to worldwide commerce, including the Port of Gulfport and the Port of Pascagoula, which is ranked in the top 20 ports in the United States for foreign trade.

VT Halter Marine in Pascagoula Mississippi is the largest designer and builder of medium sized vessels in the world. 70% of the Navy's fleet of warships were manufactured by Huntington Ingalls in Pascagoula. Over 33 shipbuilding related manufacturers employing more than 23,450 skilled workers are in Mississippi.

The state’s strategic location provides an unparalleled advantage, and a large U.S. Navy presence along the Mississippi Gulf Coast is an important asset to many shipbuilders. It’s easy to see why a number of shipbuilding companies have chosen to locate or expand in the state in recent years, including some of the leading names in the shipbuilding and maritime industries — Huntington Ingalls Industries, U.S. Marine Inc., VT Halter Marine Inc., Trinity Yachts, Gulf Ship, Signet Maritime, New South Marine Builders, Signal International and Rolls Royce.

  • Huntington Ingalls Inc. is the largest private employer in the state of Mississippi and has produced warships for the U.S. Navy and other government customers at the Pascagoula, Mississippi, shipyard since the 1930s.
  • The Mississippi Coast Foreign Trade Zone #92 is 5,000 acres of secured sites located in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties.

Shipbuilding Success

Shipbuilding

Nautic Star, a manufacturer of high-quality bay boats, deck boats, and offshore boats announced an expansion creating 30 new jobs in Monroe County, Mississippi. The company has two manufacturing facilities, both located in Mississippi.

May 28, 2014 NauticStar, a manufacturer of high-quality bay boats, deck boats and offshore boats, announced an expansion creating 30 new jobs in Monroe County, Mississippi. The company has two manufacturing facilities, both located in Mississippi. Read the full story >>

VT Halter Marine announced aa new ship repair facility creating 400 new jobs. The company has three ship construction facilities, all located in Mississippi, and is the largest designer and builder of medium-size vessels in the world.

December 5, 2012 VT Halter Marine announced a new ship repair facility creating 400 new jobs. The company has three ship construction facilities, all located in Mississippi, and is the largest designer and builder of medium-size vessels in the world. Read the full story >>

Shipbuilding Workforce

Mississippi’s skilled workforce is its greatest treasure. Mississippians have a “can-do” attitude and are driven by pride to do things right. Robust workforce training programs offered throughout the state equip Mississippi’s people with the necessary skills to get the job done. A right-to-work state, Mississippi’s affordable cost of living, low overall cost of doing business, and tax and financing incentives make it an attractive economic option for companies of all sizes — from start-ups to established multinational corporations.

An enterprise is only as good as its people — that’s why more industry leaders are choosing a Mississippi location to compete in today’s global marketplace.

Mississippi population is 2,991,207 The average wage for a welder, solderer and brazer occupations in Mississippi is $18.99. Median hourly wage for production occupations in Mississippi is $13.60

Search Community College Training Programs by Industry Search a Detailed Area Analysis

Community Colleges

In 2013, Mississippi Community Colleges trained 96,000 individuals (non-duplicated). The 15 colleges throughout the state offer 26,403 training classes and serve over 550 companies by offering customized training solutions.

The Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Center at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Gulfport offers students the opportunity to work hands-on with equipment from companies like Ingalls Shipbuilding and VT Halter Marine to better simulate on-the-job training. The center also offers an intense 10-week “Shipfitter Boot Camp” with a training curriculum designed by the industry for the industry. Students graduate prepared for entry-level work as shipfitters. With a 100-percent job placement rate, the program saves the industry both recruiting and training costs.

In 2013, the state-of-the-art Haley Reeves Barbour Maritime Training Academy in Pascagoula officially began classes with the intent to increase the skilled workforce for Ingalls Shipbuilding. The academy will increase enrollment in the 2-to-4-year apprentice program by about 1,000 students, and training will be in conjunction with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

Mississippi Research Universities

The Center for Manufacturing Excellence (CME) at the University of Mississippi offers undergraduate students a uniquely insightful perspective on manufacturing. Through the CME, the School of Engineering offers a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering — both with an emphasis in manufacturing. The CME maintains close ties to the real-world manufacturing industry through its advisory board, which includes executives from Toyota and GE Aviation’s nearby plants and other companies throughout the state.

The Mississippi Polymer Institute at the University of Southern Mississippi is a national leader in the study of composites, advanced materials, polymers and plastics. MPI provides contract research & development services, rapid prototyping and testing services to Mississippi ship builders to develop advanced composites for the next generation of ships.

Engineering Programs

Mississippi’s four public universities offer undergraduate degree programs certified by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology in 16 different fields.

Mississippi State University The University of Mississippi Jackson State University The University of Southern Mississippi
Degree Program (Starkville, MS) (Oxford, MS) (Jackson, MS) (Hattiesburg, MS)
Aerospace Engineering check
Architectural Engineering Technology check
Biological Engineering check
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Polymer Science and Engineering check
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Petroleum Engineering (to begin in 2015) check

Infrastructure

Mississippi is centrally located between the East and West coasts and provides easy access to major U.S. markets including Mobile, Alabama; New Orleans, Louisiana; Atlanta, Georgia; Nashville, Tennessee; Dallas, Texas; Houston, Texas; and St. Louis, Missouri. The U.S. distribution hub of Memphis, Tennessee, is just across Mississippi’s northern state line, and the Gulf of Mexico forms the state’s southern border. The state’s transportation infrastructure provides unparalleled distribution and delivery for manufacturers.

Mississippi is centrally located between the East and West coasts and provides easy access to major U.S. markets including Mobile, Alabama; New Orleans, Louisiana; Atlanta, Georgia; Nashville, Tennessee; Dallas, Texas; Houston, Texas; and St. Louis, Missouri. The U.S. distribution hub of Memphis, Tennessee, is just across Mississippi’s northern state line, and the Gulf of Mexico forms the state’s southern border.

Located on the Gulf Coast are two deepwater ports, the Port of Pascagoula and Port of Gulfport. The Port of Pascagoula is the largest industrial tonnage port in the state with a 38-foot channel depth for ships and has been ranked in top 20 ports in U.S. for foreign cargo volume.

Mississippi’s six Tennessee-Tombigbee ports provide access to Port of Mobile, Alabama.

Along the Mississippi River there are five major ports. Each is equipped with cranes, transit sheds for general or containerized cargo, and truck and rail facilities.

Mississippi Incentives

The State of Mississippi offers a variety of grant, loan and tax incentive programs designed to assist businesses creating jobs and making capital investments in the state.  Below are commonly used business incentives programs within the shipbuilding industry.

For a more comprehensive list of incentives for manufacturers, click here.

Advantage Jobs Program

The Advantage Jobs Program provides for a rebate of a percentage of Mississippi payroll to qualified shipbuilders and other manufacturers for a period of up to 10 years. Jobs must meet or exceed the average annual wage of the state or the county in which the company locates, whichever is lower. This incentive is available to businesses that promise significant expansion of the economy through the creation of jobs.

Jobs Tax Credit

Companies receive a corporate income tax credit equal to a percentage of eligible payroll for each newly created job. These credits are available for a five-year period, or the company can opt for job-training grants that cover up to 75 percent of the cost of training employees and range from $1,000 to $2,000 per worker. View a detailed pdf.

Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Construction or Expansion

Mississippi offers manufacturers and other eligible businesses that construct a new facility or expand an existing facility in the state a sales and use tax exemption on component building materials, machinery and equipment. View a detailed pdf.

Standard Property Tax Exemption

For companies that locate or expand in the state, subject to the discretion of the county and city government, this exemption is available for up to 10 years and may be granted on real and tangible property being used in the state. View a detailed pdf.

For a full list of incentives available from the state, visit the incentives page.