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Study: San Diego Ship Building Industry On The Rise

Study: San Diego Ship Building Industry On The Rise

San Diego's ship building industry brings in $1.75 billion to the economy, according to a new study by Point Loma Nazarene University.

Lynn Reaser, chief economist with Point Loma Nazarene University, addresses the crowd during the release of the university's report on the shipping industry, Dec. 7, 2015.

Less than two years ago, it was all gloom for ship builders. They hadn’t hired new workers since before the recession. A new study from Point Loma Nazarene University shows the industry’s local impact isn’t just large — at $1.75 billion, it’s growing.

“As the study states, the Navy expects to bring more ships here,” said Capt. Paul Bieraugel, executive officer, Southwest Regional Maintenance Center, Pacific Region. "More exotic ships. And more numbers of ships."

The Navy is under a mandate to build new ships and modernize the fleet. General Dynamics NASSCO is the only ship builder on the West Coast and roughly half of its orders are for tankers and other commercial vessels.

This is the first time Point Loma Nazarene University has attempted to compile the total value of the ship building and repair industry in San Diego. They came up with a positive picture.

“Downturns in the economy could effect this industry,” Lynn Reaser, chief economist at Point Loma Nazarene University. “It does have its ups and downs. But we could see the industry reaching an all-time high, in terms of employment, within the next five years.”

An economic downturn, or federal cuts, could turn those estimates around. Researchers found that right now, the industry employs 12,000 people. Another 5,000 jobs are generated through consumer spending.

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