Navy shipbuilding contracts help offset cuts in Army truck orders

About halfway through the federal government’s fiscal-year 2015, Wisconsin is benefiting from a U.S. Navy shipbuilding program, while spending for military trucks made in the state has fallen sharply from previous highs.

It’s almost polar opposites, said Jerry Murphy, executive director of New North, an economic development group that represents industry in eight counties of northeastern Wisconsin.

In Marinette, about 1,500 people are building Navy combat vessels designed for a variety of missions including shallow, coastal waters. The program has been a mainstay of employment at the Marinette Marine shipyard and hundreds of its suppliers, including companies in the Milwaukee area.

Marinette’s economy is “enormously healthy,” Murphy said, including non-defense sectors such as the paper and metal-fabrication industries.

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