Top stories 2016: EB a shining light in hiring

This is the first of 10 vignettes about the top local stories of the year, as chosen by the staff of The Day.

In 2016 alone, Electric Boat hired nearly 2,000 workers, a sign that the submarine builder has benefited from big Navy contracts. In the next 15 years, the company will hire thousands more employees to carry out work on nuclear attack and ballistic missile submarines. It will go from a workforce of 14,500 today to 18,000 in 2030.

EB, with its partner, Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia, continues to build two Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarines a year. It is the prime contractor for the Columbia-class program to build a new fleet of 12 ballistic missile submarines to replace the aging fleet of 14.

Despite the good news for submarine manufacturing, southeastern Connecticut still is struggling to recover from the economic recession. Numbers released in November by the Department of Labor showed that the Norwich-New London area, which includes Westerly, lost 300 jobs over the last year. Economists have said layoffs at the two casinos have hindered job recovery in the area.

— Julia Bergman

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