Posted by Brandon Jarvis
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Auxiliary Systems Inc., an auxiliary system manufacturer for commercial and government clients in the marine industry, will invest $220,000 to upgrade its water jet cutting machine in the City of Norfolk. Sixty-five of the company’s existing employees will be retrained to operate the new machinery with support from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP).
Auxiliary Systems was recently one of nine ship repair firms in the Hampton Roads region to be awarded a share in a U.S. Navy maintenance contract worth $119 million over one year and potentially up to $644 million over five years.
“Auxiliary Systems is a longtime contributor to the City of Norfolk and the Hampton Roads’ economy, providing critical ship repair services to the U.S. Military,” said Governor Northam. “The company continues to thrive in the region, aided by close proximity to The Port of Virginia and the U.S. Navy, as well as its ability to recruit top talent. We are proud to support this important retraining project, and look forward to Auxiliary Systems’ continued smooth sailing in the Commonwealth.”
Auxiliary Systems Inc. is a 100 percent woman-owned small business founded in 1990 by Sharon Williams under the name Pure Water Technologies. The company’s initial business plan was to generate and supply feed water for U.S. Navy ships and local shipyards. Throughout the next two decades, the company gained significant experience in the scope of its work, and worked as a prime contractor on CMAV and IDIQ type contracts and as a subcontractor for MSMO and other MSR contract holders. Much of the company’s work is behind the scenes, providing certified technical representatives and depot level repairs for auxiliary machinery.
“Job retraining is critical to stay competitive in the 21st-century economy, and we thank Auxiliary Systems for reinvesting in its workforce,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “With its strategic east coast location, favorable operating costs, and a workforce that welcomes exiting members of the military annually, Hampton Roads will continue to be an ideal home for this impressive company.”
“Virginia houses the largest shipbuilding market in the United States and is the ideal location for our current expansion,” said John Moore, Human Resources Director, Auxiliary Systems. “Further, we believe that we have positioned ourselves strategically to support the future growth of off-shore wind, oil, and gas off the coast of Virginia.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) will support Auxiliary Systems Inc.’s job retraining through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP). VJIP provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs or experiencing technological change to support employee training activities. As a business incentive supporting economic development, VJIP reduces the human resource costs of new and expanding companies. VJIP is state-funded, demonstrating Virginia’s commitment to enhancing job opportunities for its citizens.
“We are extremely grateful that Auxiliary Systems chose Norfolk for this critical capital investment. Support from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program helps emerging local businesses to train high-skilled workers for jobs that pay great wages and expand our economy. The City of Norfolk thanks everyone involved as we continue to provide a vibrant manufacturing sector that supports our navy and maritime industries,” said Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander.
“As we continue to work to grow the new Virginia economy, job retraining and utilization of unique regional resources—like the skill sets present in a large community of Naval workers—are critical for success,” said Senator Lynwood Lewis. “The partnership between Auxiliary Systems and the Virginia Jobs Investment Program showcases how investment in human capital will both open doors for valued employers in the Commonwealth and help us to retain and grow the state’s workforce.”
“The local community is excited about Auxiliary Systems’ investment in both its infrastructure and workforce here in Norfolk,” said Delegate Jerrauld (Jay) Jones. “This development highlights the benefits of cooperation between the public and private sectors, and is an important step in growing our regional economy while also leveraging our assets and people.”