The chief executive of Gulf Island Fabrication hopes to hire 700 new workers by the end of the year.
Kerry Chauvin, chairman and CEO of the Houma, La.-based builder of offshore drilling and production platforms, expects to add 500 workers at the company’s Gulf Marine Fabricators subsidiary in Aransas Pass, Texas, and 200 at its Houma facilities, according to a report published Wednesday in the Houma (La.) Courier. Gulf Marine Fabricators specializes in the construction of large offshore structures.
GMF needs the workers to handle a big contract awarded to Gulf Island in April to construct the hull portion of a Williams Partners’ floating production system for the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Gulf Island was also awarded a contract in June to build a $29.5 million drydock at the LaShip yard in Houma.
Gulf Island is also busy constructing several towboats at its Gulf Island Marine Fabricators
subsidiary, which was launched in 2008 and specializes in the construction and repair of workboats. The company is also working on a liftboat.
“We do have a long-term backlog, and we are looking for employees who have the training and want to work,” Chauvin told the Courier. “We have already started hiring, and we need to build up our labor force to meet the requirements of these large contracts.”
Despite the recession, it’s still hard to find qualified shipyard workers, so Chauvin said the company is expanding its training program so it can train less-experienced workers to fill positions.