In 2006, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), through its Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program, awarded a $750,000 grant to the Alabama Technology Network (ATN) to assist shipbuilders affected by Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast.
While the overall purpose of the grant was to address the critical shortage of technically skilled workers available to Gulf Coast shipbuilders and other industry issues, one of the four major goals was to establish a membership-based, regional cooperative group of shipbuilding companies, suppliers, educational institutions, and economic developers as a non-profit Gulf Coast Shipbuilders Consortium.
Members of the Gulf States Shipbuilders Consortium (GSSC) celebrated the official formation of the association at GSSC’s charter member meeting December 14, 2006 at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Gautier, Mississippi.
- Raise public awareness of the shipbuilding and repair industry and GSSC in the Gulf Coast region.
- Establish a steady stream of trained workers for the shipbuilding and repair industry in the Gulf Coast region.
- Develop a plan for sustaining and growing GSSC.