Marine company investing $64.4 million in Newport News, creates 332 new jobs

Posted at 9:58 AM, Jun 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-16 16:28:33-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Governor Ralph Northam was in town Tuesday for a major announcement.

Northam announced that an industry leader in the marine, industrial, and commercial sectors, will invest $64.4 million to establish a corporate and industrial campus for ship repair, manufacturing, and to rehabilitate piers.

The company is called S23 Holdings, LLC and its affiliates include East Coast Repair and Fabrication (ECR).

Virginia successfully competed with Florida and Puerto Rico for the project, which will create 332 new jobs.

The company will transform waterfront property at 1201 Terminal Avenue in Newport News and nearby property at 1511 Harbor Lane. The project’s overall investment includes the property acquisition, the rehabilitation of Piers 14 and 15, and the construction of a manufacturing facility and corporate and administrative offices, Northam announced.

“Securing this major investment from S23 Holdings is an important win for Newport News and our Commonwealth as we work to move our economy forward,” said Governor Northam. “The shipbuilding and maritime industries have long been economic anchors for Hampton Roads, and our world-class infrastructure and training institutions have helped build a high-quality talent pipeline that allows companies like East Coast Repair and Fabrication to thrive. We are proud that Virginia is able support the company’s impressive growth and look forward to their future success.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with the City of Newport News to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $664,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Newport News with the project. S23 Holdings, LLC and its affiliates are eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

“S23 Holdings and its affiliates selected Newport News for its expansion after considering a number of locational advantages,” said Jorge Rivera, CEO and Chairman of S23 Holdings. “The Newport News facility is strategically located on the James River, has the water depth to accommodate deep draft vessels, offers unrestricted navigational access, and, most importantly, has access to an underutilized workforce. Workforce development is one of S23’s guiding principles, and our sincere desire to work with the Southeast Community to create new jobs and provide shipyard training was a driving force behind our decision to select Newport News.”

This economic announcement comes as many businesses are struggling and many people are out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic.