Employment in recent years has varied between over 800 to under 500. The key to bringing more work to the company is having strong marketing internationally. They are already starting to address this issue through ShipNet. ShipNet is part of the Community Diversification Program at CTED and is a response to the decline in Defense and Navy spending in the region. This decline has had a very large impact on the ship building/ship repair industry. ShipNet represents common efforts to increase the competitiveness of the industry in Washington State. About 30 individuals are active representing businesses and unions, including Todd. The project is industry driven and is focusing on building upon existing strengths. They are putting effort into better marketing the strengths and capabilities of the region internationally and the first step is to survey businesses to measure their capabilities. From this study ShipNet will develop joint marketing materials and build networks of firms which can cooperate together to compete for jobs outside the region which they wouldn't be able to get individually. ShipNet will also conduct a market study of international opportunities, and has applied for a $1 million grant from Maritech to implement their work program.
Washington State Ferries received funding for operating costs for the second and third new Jumbo ferries, which are under construction at Seattle's Todd Shipyards and scheduled to begin service during the 1997-99 biennium. The ships have a capacity of 2,500 passengers and 218 cars, compared to 2,000 people and 206 cars on the first-generation Jumbos. They're just 20 feet longer that the old Jumbos, but at 460 feet they're the longest ferry of their type in North America.An industry goal is for Todd to come out of the ferry contract with different and more competitive production methods. The project will likely revive the flagging shipbuilding industry, generating hundreds of skilled and semi-skilled jobs over the next several years. Regional ship repair firms also anticipate a boost to their industry from servicing the expanding fleet at the U.S. Naval Home Port in Everett, now one of the only two remaining naval bases on the West Coast.
The old Todd Shipyard site adjoins the Oakland Inner Harbor on the south and is located between the Naval Supply Center Annex and Main Street. The site currently is leased to private developers for industrial and warehouse purposes. The former Todd Shipyard facility in Alameda site might be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The majority of the Todd Shipyard structures now exceed 50 years of age. Some of those structures are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history because of their connections to early public transit, World War II tugboat construction and ship repair, and postwar conversion of ships to civilian uses. Todd Shipyard comprises an assortment of structures built over a span of more than 50 years, for a wide variety of purposes, in a wide variety of designs, materials, and workmanship.