Fairlead Boatworks announced a major and far reaching expansion to its current operations in Newport News’ Seafood Industrial Park (SIP). The investment being made exceeds 5 million dollars and will result in a significant and immediate increase in the size and scope of work that will be done by the Boatworks through both commercial and government contracts. Not only will this investment in facilities complement and enhance the current operations at 99 and 1008 Jefferson Avenue, it will provide an entirely new capability through major facilities improvements to 601 Jefferson Avenue, better known as the “ North Yard”.
“We are looking forward to expanding our operations in Newport News. Increasing our heavy lift capacity will allow us to conduct drydock repairs to many additional vessels. And, the completion of a 17,000 sq ft fabrication platen, coupled with a state of the art fabrication and coatings facility will also allow us to better support the large fabrication and integration requirements of our customers.” Jerry Miller, owner of Fairlead Boatworks, Inc.
Fairlead’s investment in the SIP is unmatched by any other company and the growth that will result from this initiative will create new job opportunities across the full range of the ship repair and manufacturing trades. The most significant of the improvements will occur in the North Yard where construction will include the fabrication platen, office spaces and other manufacturing facilities. The plans also include a near doubling of the boatlift capacity of the Boatworks with the addition of a new 450 metric ton lift and a 250metric ton transporter, both of which will be delivered to the company later this year.
This is an exciting time for both Fairlead and the SIP. Plans and permitting are well under way and construction in the North Yard will commence in May of this year.
“We are pleased that Fairlead has chosen to grow and expand its operations in the City’s Seafood Industrial Park”, said Newport News Mayor McKinley Price. “Fairlead continues to be an important business in the Park, providing both government and commercial ship repair services benefitting nearby maritime-related businesses and employment opportunities within the community. With this investment, Fairlead is further solidifying its presence in the SIP and positioning itself for long-term success in Newport News.”
Florence G. Kingston, the City’s Director of Development added, “Since its acquisition of Davis Boat Works in 2015, Fairlead Boatworks has been a committed partner to the City and community. This $5 million expansion by Fairlead represents a major commitment to Newport News and we look forward to continuing our collaborative work with the company.”
Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. A job fair is scheduled for Wednesday, March 28, 2018, 4-7 p.m. at the Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center (2410 Wickham Avenue).
Fairlead Boatworks is a premier East Coast marine repair facility and is a marine services division of Fairlead Integrated. Fairlead offers drydock and dockside repair and fabrication services for commercial and government vessels from property leased within the Seafood Industrial Park.