MARINETTE — Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said Thursday he plans to commit $31 million in his budget plan to help shipbuilder Marinette Marine.
Evers went to Marinette in northeastern Wisconsin to announce his proposal to help the shipbuilder expand its shipyard and infrastructure. The expansion will help Marinette Marine compete for a $10 billion federal shipbuilding contract, he said.
The shipyard expansion will help Marinette Marine keep its workforce of 1,500 employees and also add an additional 400 fulltime positions. The state funding is contingent on Marinette Marine's receipt of additional federal funds, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported .
"Marinette Marine is a source of pride for Wisconsin and employs thousands of Wisconsinites in good-paying, family-supporting jobs. Their success is an essential part of the Marinette community and local economy," Evers said in a statement.
Marinette Marine has been one of two companies building Littoral Combat Ships since 2005. But the U.S. Navy is discontinuing the LCS in favor of a larger frigate class ship. Marinette Marine is in the running for design and construction of the new ship, WBAY-TV reported .
Republican state Rep. John Nygren of Marinette, who appeared with the new Democratic governor in Marinette to announce the proposed funding, said he met with Evers last week to "emphasize the enormous value Marinette Marine plays in Wisconsin's economy" and invited him to visit.
"This investment will help Marinette Marine continue to compete on the world stage for years to come," Nygren said in a tweet Thursday.
The work at Marinette Marine also supports hundreds of contract companies and thousands of their workers, Democratic state Sen. Dave Hansen of Green Bay said.