“My first words to you this morning: EB is hiring,” said Graney at the start of his speech.

He then played a corporate video bragging about last year’s successes. New facilities were producing the next-generation Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines and the largest contract ever to maintain the existing submarine fleet.

The threat of Chinese aggression towards Taiwan and the actual Russian aggression in Ukraine have the U-S prioritizing submarine technology. But finding qualified workers continues to be a challenge.

“We face, as a nation, the biggest threat to our defense-industrial base, our biggest challenge, since World War II,” U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) said after Graney spoke. “We have to do more stuff in production.”

Electric Boat is already the largest for-profit employer in Connecticut. Last year, it hired 3,700 new people.

“Approximately 25% of the new hires were engineers and designers,” Graney said. “We hired 20% of the graduating class of the University of Connecticut as engineers.”

But they need to hire 5,700 more this year. The good news is some political leaders say Connecticut is leading the country in workforce training programs.

“In terms of how you can design a system that has the right curriculum in terms of connecting people to the skillset they need, as well as doing it in an expeditious, really accelerated schedule,” U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney (D-2nd District) said.

Some people in the crowd pointed out that even once you get that skilled workforce, its members still need housing, transportation, and even affordable daycare, all of which can be hard to find.

Learn more about job opportunities on Electric Boat’s website.