April 5, 2017
Cornerstone Profile: Bath Iron Works
Bath Iron Works (BIW), a major shipyard that has been building naval and commercial ships in Bath since the 1890s, is a well-respected industry leader with a penchant for giving back to Maine people.
Widely known as leaders in innovative maritime engineering and construction, BIW and its staff have become important community leaders as well. Through a corporate gift and donations from many generous employees, BIW has been named one of United Way’s 12 Cornerstone Partners, which collectively make up more than 45 percent of United Way of Kennebec Valley's (UWKV's) annual campaign. The company has supported United Way’s mission for decades and has pledged to contribute more than $40,000 to UWKV in 2017.
The BIW shipyard is located on the west bank of the Kennebec River and remains the namesake of an iron foundry established in 1826. The first BIW-built vessel was a coastal passenger ship named Cottage City built for the Maine Steamship Co. Since the completion of its first hull in 1890, BIW has been awarded more than 425 shipbuilding contracts, including 245 military ships (primarily for the U.S. Navy) and over 160 private yachts and commercial vessels. BIW became a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Dynamics in September 1995.
In recent decades, BIW has partnered with the City of Bath and the State of Maine to support a long-term capital investment plan, completing the first phase of modernization in 2001 with the opening of a state-of-the-art facility. Further applications of lean manufacturing techniques and advanced modular construction are planned, and the yard now utilizes 3D computer-aided design for its ships.
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