MANUFACTURER OF THE YEAR: AUSTAL USA
Business View – December 2021/January 2022 / Chamber Award Winner
While conducting its work of building aluminum combat and transport vessels for the U.S. Navy, Austal USA made numerous changes to its business operations to ensure a long future in Mobile.
That continuous forward-thinking makes the company a standout for the Mobile Area Chamber’s 2021 Manufacturer of the Year award, according to David Rodgers, the Chamber’s vice president of economic development.
In March, the company broke ground on its steel manufacturing line to meet the emerging U.S. military demand for steel ships. This summer, Austal was awarded the contract to create the functional design of the Navajo-class Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ship (AT-ATS) – the company’s first steel new construction contract. Before year-end, the company was awarded a $145 million multi-ship contract for the AT-ATS.
The AT-ATS will support U.S. fleet operations, including oil spill response, humanitarian assistance and wide area search and surveillance. The line is expected be ready to cut steel in April 2022. “On behalf of Austal USA’s great team of shipbuilders, our teammates and our suppliers, we are honored to receive this prestigious award from the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce,” said Austal USA President Rusty Murdaugh.
“Austal has celebrated several major achievements this year, and we are proud of the resilience displayed by our workforce to overcome adversity and continue contributing to our nation’s defense. The Mobile-area community is an instrumental part of our success and a very large part of what makes Austal USA such a successful and strong company.”
After purchasing additional waterfront property in 2020, Austal established a ship repair facility that has seen a “booming response,” according to company officials. The Austal West Campus repair facility will service commercial and government ships.
“As one of Mobile’s largest employers, the day-to-day impact on our economy is critical. It’s rewarding to see Austal USA take the steps to secure its future here as well as the commitment of the 4,000-plus area residents who are employed there,” said Rodgers.
About the Mobile Chamber
The Mobile Chamber is a private business organization with more than 1,700 members and the economic developer for the City of Mobile and Mobile County. The Mobile Chamber’s focus is to provide members with networking, marketing and professional development opportunities, expand jobs in the area, develop the local workforce, advocate legislative priorities and offer resources to help small businesses grow. Additional information is on the Chamber’s website, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.