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Bath Iron Works generates huge impact on Maine economy, study says

A recent report revealed Bath Iron Works generated $1.8 billion dollars in economic output in 2021 and supported over 11,000 jobs.

BATH, Maine — A recent report is shedding light on just how much of an economic impact General Dynamics Bath Iron Works has on Maine's economy.

The third-party analysis was done by the University of Southern Maine's Center for Business and Economic Research.

The report revealed Bath Iron Works (BIW) generated $1.8 billion dollars in economic output in 2021 and supported over 11,000 jobs, amounting to $44 million per year in state and local taxes, a news release from BIW said Tuesday.

Additionally, BIW represents 12 percent of Maine's manufacturing workforce, as well as 17 percent of its production GDP, the release stated. 

According to the release, sustaining BIW's economic impact will require overcoming challenges such as workforce housing, child care, and transportation.

Local and national leaders said they hope to continue addressing these problems to attract more people to work at BIW, and in turn, support Bath and the state as a whole.

"BIW casts a wide net, and as you can see from this report, there are impacts that go much beyond this shipyard," Bath City Manager Marc Meyers said. "The continued commitment and investment in Bath is vital to our community," Meyers said. "The BIW shipbuilding facilities support a significant portion of our property tax base and also supports our community, our small businesses, our downtown."

Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King agree as they showed gratitude toward the BIW report when interviewing with NEWS CENTER Maine on Tuesday.

"BIW is an economic powerhouse in the state of Maine. It employs individuals who live in all 16 counties of our state," Collins said Tuesday. "BIW is a key contributor to our national security through the destroyers it constructs. Those are the best destroyers. 

"They are high-quality ships. It's important that our state and its citizens understand the impact of BIW because it helps makes BIW an attractive place to work and assists in its recruitment of a workforce that is talented and ready to help us meet our national security needs."

"This report puts into numbers what we already knew from the Maine faces and businesses we interact with every day ... Time and time again, the hardworking, highly-skilled workers at Bath Iron Works demonstrate that Bath built is best built," King told NEWS CENTER Maine Tuesday. "Bath Iron Works has long been a cornerstone of Maine communities and the backbone of America’s Navy ... Making up 17 of Maine’s manufacturing GDP, supporting nearly 12,000 Maine jobs, and providing $1.8 billion in economic impact, Bath Iron Works is a truly vital and irreplaceable component of Maine and our Nation’s economy."

In addition to state politicians, Jessica Picard, the communications manager with the Maine Department of Labor, expressed how critical BIW is to Maine's economy.

"As one of the largest employers in Maine, Bath Iron Works is a critical component of the state’s economy," Picard said. "The Mills Administration is proud to work with Bath Iron Works as they recruit, employ, and train thousands of Mainers for quality, in-demand jobs through workforce programs such as registered apprenticeship and the Maine Hire-A-Vet Campaign."

To learn more about the economic report on General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, click here.

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