Louisiana’s Domestic Maritime Jobs Pumping Billions Into State Economy
Why is Louisiana’s domestic maritime industry important to the state’s economy?
The State of Louisiana is the leading state in the United States for domestic maritime employment, according to a recent published report by MarineLink.com. The report shows that one in every 83 jobs in the state of Louisiana are connected or related to the maritime industry in different ways which is almost double that of other states.
Louisiana’s domestic maritime industry, according to the most recent federal figures has contributed over $11.3 billion in total economic output and posted 54,850 maritime jobs as of 2011. Maritime employment is one of the largest industries in Louisiana with oil and gas, and agriculture in the lead. It includes marine terminals, shipyards, vessel operators and workers engaged in the movement of cargo exclusively within the United States. The maritime industry generates over $3.54 billion in employment income every year.
Louisiana’s Waterway Network And Strong Regional Container Port
The navigable waterway network of over 2,800 miles in Louisiana just comes second to Alaska and it handles more waterborne commerce than any other state in the country. More than 500 million tons of domestic and foreign cargo passes through Louisiana’s waterway network every year. Aside from that, Louisiana has the strongest regional container port in the Western Hemisphere in terms of tonnage and the second busiest port in the country in terms of vessel arrivals.
Military And Commercial Shipbuilding
The US Maritime Administration also released a recent study showing that Louisiana comes in third in rank behind Virginia and California in shipbuilding, covering commercial and military construction. There are 29,250 jobs accounted for shipbuilding with more than $2.23 billion in yearly economic contribution to the state. The state of Virginia ranks first with 63,650 shipyard jobs while California has 37,140 jobs.
Tugboats, Towboats And Barges
Tugboats safely escorting and maneuvering large containers, bulk cargo ships and tankers in Louisiana waters are essential and crucial in keeping the vast port network in operable conditions. Similarly, barges and towboats help move millions of barrels of petroleum products every month.
Robust Maritime Sector
The robust maritime sector in Louisiana has been the product of centuries of combined efforts and cooperation of Louisiana residents and maritime companies in forging construction and maintenance services for military and commercial vessels. This is further complemented by innovative workforce training programs offered by Delgado Community College in New Orleans and the South Central Louisiana Technical College (SCLTC) in Morgan City. The offered programs are providing training for a new generation of workers that would support the evolving industry.
Boot Camp Training And Programs For Maritime Workforce
Programs like those offered by the two colleges help position the workers with no skills and experience in the maritime industry but who are interested to enter the field. Several boot camp programs are in place to help train workers in pipe-laying and pipe-fitting jobs required in the construction or repair of a vessel. Workers are introduced to the basic shipbuilding materials such as marine pop rivets, aluminum, aluminum alloys, pumps, propellers, heat exchangers, shaft liners, etc. Workers and students participating in such programs are made to understand what is required of a shipfitter and what kind of job they can get at the end of the program. Such efforts have effectively built a strong domestic maritime front for the state of Louisiana.
Can Louisiana beat Virginia or California in shipbuilding jobs this year?