The sleepy town of Suffolk is waking up to some good economic news. The office suite of a new ship repair company is open for business.
Donald Mills is the president.
He worked for Newport News Shipbuilding for 22 years. Instead of retiring, he put his experience to work and opened his own ship repair company. Over the next year, he plans to bring in 50 new jobs.
“When I say 50 employees, it’s 50 employees through our teaming agreement as well as our staff employees,” says Mills.
He has a team agreement with Naval Station Norfolk. His company will sub-contract work orders to maintain vessels in theU.S. Navy Fleet.
Mills also launched an apprentice program with Tidewater Community College to train sheet metal workers, electricians, welders and other shipping trades.
By launching the company, Mills says he will be the only African-American owned ship repair business in the region.