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Updated: October 3, 2023

To bolster pool of job candidates, Bath Iron Works joins Army workforce initiative

Two people Photo / Courtesy BIW Lt. Gen. Maria Gervais, left, presents a partnership certificate to BIW President Chuck Krugh after the pair signed an agreement that provides for job interviews at the shipyard for soldiers joining the private sector.

Bath Iron Works will guarantee a job interview with any Army veterans, reservists or National Guard members as part of an agreement with the Army’s Partnership for Your Success program.

BIW, part of Reston, Va.-based General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE: GD), was ranked Maine’s latest private employer in the 2023 Mainebiz Book of Lists.

Out of around 6,000 employees at the shipyard today, an estimated 1,000 are veterans, though not everyone discloses their veteran status, according to BIW spokesman David Hench.

The collaboration with the Army's PaYS program was announced Monday.

“The Army’s PaYS program provides our nation’s employers with a pool of highly skilled, motivated and responsible candidates to fill their personnel needs,” said BIW President Chuck Krugh. “Partnering with the Army through the PaYS program is a 'win-win' opportunity for everyone.”

The program helps soldiers prepare for a career after the Army by connecting them with employers who understand the skills, discipline, and work ethic that military service members bring.

“It is about building the relationship, being part of a team and connecting with our communities and our local businesses and our industry partners.” said Lt. Gen Maria Gervais, of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command. “It provides our veterans the opportunity to use their transferable skills.”

The agreement was signed at BIW’s Trades Learning Center in Brunswick. Attendees included Maine Adjutant Gen. Douglas Farnham, leadership from BIW’s unions and congressional representatives.

“It’s always great to see expanding options for transitioning service members here in Maine, especially when those opportunities continue to support the military and our men and women in uniform,” said Farnham. “Employers can feel good about hiring a veteran — no one understands ‘teamwork’ better.”

Krugh, an Army veteran himself, said he well knows the value of skills acquired in the military.

“My goal going into the Army was to have a skill that I could use when I got out,” said Krugh, who was a Blackhawk crew chief during his military service. “The training and experiences that I gained in the military helped me stabilize a career path and provide for my family.”

The shipyard’s mission to build U.S. Navy ships “make it well-suited to partner with the PaYS program to provide good job opportunities for people who want to continue serving their country,” he added.

Krugh succeeded Dirk Lesko as BIW's president following Lesko's sudden departure in 2022.

BIW, whose roots date back to 1884, is responsible for new construction, maintenance and modernization of surface combatants for the U.S. Navy.

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