Vigor will close a Ballard plant where it has made aluminum workboats, and move about 60 jobs from a similar operation in Clackamas, Oregon.
Vigor Industrial will take over the former home of Christensen Yachts in Vancouver, Washington, as its site for carrying out a $1 billion, 10-year contract to build new landing craft for the U.S. Army.
The project is expected to employ up to 400 people, the company said Friday in announcing its decision.
Concurrently, Vigor will close a Ballard plant where it has made aluminum workboats, and move about 60 jobs from a similar operation in Clackamas, Oregon. The 50 Ballard employees will be offered jobs in Vancouver, or may find work at Vigor’s drydock facility at Harbor Island, the company said.
“I hope many of our employees will be willing to go as they are very skilled at what they do,” said a spokeswoman.
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The company, which won the contract in 2017, looked at sites in both Washington and Oregon. The Vancouver site was a luxury boatbuilding yard before Christensen failed in 2015, according to The Oregonian newspaper.
Vigor president and CEO Frank Foti said in a statement that Vancouver offered “the opportunity to bring (the) entire aluminum fabrication team together in one location.” He also cited “the livability of the community, its proximity to existing Vigor facilities, and the excellent suitability of the Christensen facility for Vigor’s production needs.”
According to Vigor’s website, the Ballard plant is the former home of Kvichak Marine Industries, and specializes in “high-quality aluminum workboats and high-performance craft for defense and maritime security.”
The site has 150 feet of waterfront on the Lake Washington Ship Canal, and buildings totaling almost 50,000 square feet.