Gulf Shipyards Struggle to Find Workers Amid Shipbuilding Spree


LOCKPORT, La. — A small houseboat floats on Bayou Lafourche in rural Louisiana, housing workers at the family-owned Bollinger Shipyards’ Lockport facility situated roughly 35 miles upstream from the Gulf of Mexico.

It’s one of the temporary living facilities that Bollinger maintains to house nonlocal workers and spare them lengthy commutes — one of the incentives the small yard offers to lure and retain employees from a limited pool of skilled shipbuilding labor in the region. Across the street, several workers in half a dozen fabrication plants are busy welding steel, while electricians wade through a tangle of wires in assembled modules for the U.S. Coast Guard’s fast response cutters.

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