By Judy Bell – August 5, 2020

In April of this year Fincantieri Marinette Marine was awarded the Navy’s $795 million contract to construct a new line of first-in-class frigates. The company plans to partner with sister shipyard Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding (FBS) just across Lake Michigan on Door Peninsula in Sturgeon Bay. To prepare for this endeavor, FBS will soon be upgrading their shipyard facilities and equipment to ensure all systems are fully compliant before construction begins later this year.

A portion of these upgrades will be paid by the $1.1 million grant the company was awarded in May by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration. With these funds FBS plans to add three additional 100-ton bridge cranes inside of a new hull erecting building which is currently in the design phase.

Once ship construction begins, hull components will be built at FBS and shipped across Lake Michigan to Marinette for final assembly. This process is similar to how the company handles Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) construction. While completing this work for the Navy, Fincantieri plans to continue their conversion and repair business of commercial vessels throughout their three area facilities.

“This opportunity to continue and expand the work we are doing for the Navy with the frigate is exciting for many reasons,” says Todd Thayse, FBS’s vice president and general manager. “It gives us the ability to continue delivering naval vessels for the Navy and Coast Guard as we’ve done throughout our history.”

The first detailed designs of the new frigates began in May with plans for fabrication beginning in early 2021. The Navy award promises to directly contribute to the area’s economy and job market. “To be part of the shipbuilding process for the U.S. Navy and build the newest ships that will defend our Nation and protect the lives of the women and men sailing on them is an honor for Sturgeon Bay and Door County,” says Sturgeon Bay Mayor David Ward. “We have a rich history of being part of some of the greatest programs and projects in the shipping and defense industries. We are pleased to understand the economic boost it brings to our city and county and the jobs it secures for years to come.”

For the past several years, Ameri-Force has been a staffing provider for Fincantieri, sourcing skilled craftsmen from around the country to perform work at their Wisconsin shipyards. If you have experience in the skilled trades, particularly in shipyard work, we encourage you to submit your resume to our recruiting team via email, [email protected].


Judy Bell has been with Ameri-Force since 2013 and currently serves as the Director of Gulf Coast Operations. Judy has a strong background in recruiting and human resources dating back to 2002. She has a reputation of building lasting relationships with candidates who know she will work tirelessly to keep them working.

  • Share