Bridgeport Boatworks teams up with Hornblower bringing 100 jobs to Connecticut


BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — New jobs are coming to Connecticut. If you have ever taken the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty in New York City you probably sailed on a Hornblower vessel.

Mayor Joe Ganim of Bridgeport announced Monday the company was coming to Connecticut. “As we formally welcome to the city of Bridgeport our newest Hornblower.”

The newest employer is teaming up with Bridgeport Boatworks. The two will create high skilled jobs for welders and heavy construction workers. They will maintain little boats and big boats.

Tim O’Brien from Hornblower says in addition to the 150-vessels they currently own there will be additional boats to maintain. “It’s substaintial work from the existing fleet.”

Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport will be working on a training program to begin an apprentice program.

Harry Boardsen from Bridgeport Boatworks is also looking to expand his companies footprint on the Steel Point property. “Another wing of the warehouse in additional square footage for more job opportunities and more places to work.”

Steel Point has had a long and painful history. In December of 2006, News 8 traveled to sunny Miami.

News 8 Chief Political Correspondent Jodi Latina covered the tour with Bridgeport officials to see what developers were envisioning for Steel Point.

“How beautiful!” remarked one of the city council members.

Back home families were displaced. Their homes bulldozed. Businesses on the east side suffered.

“I lost all those customers when city took down houses,” recalled a store owner.

Fast forward fifteen years, a new marina and retail sit on the property. A gas-powered energy plant will soon replace the last coal-burning plant in Connecticut.

Congressman Jim Himes, who represents the district says, “Bridgeport is on the move.”

He remembers when a former shipbuilder occupied Steel Point and built the largest yacht in the world the “Cake Walk.”

After that the company went bankrupt and the building sat empty.

Mayor Joe Ganim says, “These things take time done deliberately and produce results.”

Part of the bigger transformation will include housing on Steel Point. It was a promise made twenty years ago by the city and the state.

The DECD Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner says he’s not taking his foot off the gas.

Anyone interested in the jobs can go to the official website. Owners say everything from welding to engineering will be needed. Salaries will range from $50,000 a year to $100,000 annually.

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