Governor Bobby Jindal, Louisiana Economic Development (LED) Secretary Stephen Moret and Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) Executive Director Curt Eysink traveled to Morgan City Tuesday to visit with workers, local officials and company officials from McDermott International.
On Monday, McDermott announced the company would be scaling back its Morgan City operation by early 2014.
Officials from other Southern Louisiana companies — including Bollinger Shipyards, Danos, Edison and Chouest Offshore — were also on hand to remind workers that the state’s economy and the Bayou Region are strong and full of opportunity and to indicate their interest in recruiting affected workers for available jobs.
“To the workers – I want you to know that we are committed to helping you find new jobs and opportunities right here at home. With the major economic activity we’re seeing in this region and the coalition with us today, I’m confident that we will overcome this challenge,” said the Governor.
An increasing amount of deepwater fabrication work for the Gulf of Mexico requires much deeper water depths than are available at McDermott’s yard, which was the primary factor driving the company’s decision.
LED has worked closely with local and corporate officials of McDermott for the last two years in an attempt to find ways to keep the yard open. However, the water depth at the yard has made it very difficult for the company to compete for heavy deepwater projects. LED provided incentive proposals to try to help the company secure major new work for the yard, but the timing of those potential projects hasn't worked out.
McDermott President and CEO Steve Johnson has stated that McDermott will renew its leases at the site in order to preserve the opportunity to restart operations at the yard when and if market conditions improve.
Many of the skillsets common to a fabrication yard like this one are in demand today, meaning a number of McDermott’s affected workers are in high-demand occupations in the region and elsewhere, particularly in South Louisiana. These skills are very likely to remain in demand for years to come.
Examples of companies hiring workers include Edison Chouest for its LaShip shipyard in Houma that will result in 1,000 new direct jobs; Danos for its new $10 million corporate headquarters in Gray and new $20 million fabrication facility that will create 426 new jobs over the next five years; and Oceaneering which has announced it will create 200 new jobs averaging $60,000 per year while retaining 1,700 existing positions at its Morgan City facilities.
Posted on Fri, August 9, 2013