BATH, Maine — Bath Iron Works opened a new training center Wednesday where it plans to train 200 new employees hired so far this year and another 400 by year’s end to help build six destroyers for the U.S. Navy.
Matt Wickenheiser, a spokesman for the company, said the project is part of $60 million in investment at the shipyard where the Navy’s three next-generation Zumwalt-class destroyers are being built.
In August, the company announced plans for a $32 million outfitting building for which the company received a property tax break from the city in November. The company also is slated to build two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and expects to have a third under construction this summer.
The Maine Quality Centers, a workplace training program through the Maine Community College System, will help run training programs at the company’s Trades Learning Center.
Fred Harris, BIW president, said in a statement that the training center will help make the shipyard more competitive.
Wickenheiser said the new center can accommodate training for about 50 people at one time. The company is now hiring pipefitters, welders, tinsmiths, electricians and other tradespeople.
The new training center officially opened Wednesday during a tour with Gov. Paul LePage and local and community college system officials.
In December 2013 — after a series of layoffs — Bath Iron Works employed approximately 5,350 workers. Many of the laid-off workers have been recalled.