What a Great Day!

[Post by Chuck Krugh, October 4, 2022]

I thought I would take a break from my recent posts about what sets a company apart to recognize the great Master Shipbuilder Open House event we had this past weekend. I’ve always enjoyed seeing how family members react to the place where their loved ones work. After all, we often spend more time at work than with our families. It moves me to see their excitement about the things we take for granted every day. I also appreciate the new perspectives the families gain when they see what we do—especially at our worksite, which has many but very necessary safety and security restrictions on visitors.

But all of this could not have been possible without the extensive planning and organizing that starts months in advance of the event. Our Communications Team takes on this challenge as well as all of the other major events that we conduct over the course of the year (i.e.: Christenings, Keel Layings, town halls, Veterans Day events, etc.). This team works hard to make our events special with extra support from the Sign Shop and Print Shop.

It’s a pretty dynamic team of five people who respond with all of the attributes that I have been talking about in the blog. Think about what it must take to lead, organize and schedule all of the things necessary to allow almost 6,000 people to come into the yard, go aboard ship, have a meal and be entertained all within a 4-to-5 hour window of time. It’s a pretty tough job and, as you have seen via this past weekend’s event, they did a spectacular job in making it happen!

There is another team that contributes to and works closely with the Communication Team on events as well as many other aspects of ship construction. The Facilities Team works diligently behind the scenes to orchestrate the facility changeover from working shipyard to event venue. All of the things from trash removal, porta potties, equipment moves, clean up, maintaining the landscaping, set up and break down of tables, chairs and tents and yes, even the train of ships for the kids (both big and small)! They worked for days in preparation and then executed flawlessly to have our facility ready for all the visitors—your families. I can’t say enough about how impactful this team is to keeping our events nice, but also to keeping us up and running on a daily basis.

The Communications Team and Facilities Team could not have pulled this event off without support from Safety, Procurement and—most critical—our teams of volunteers. In fact, for this event, we had 314 volunteers from across the shipyard in many different but essential roles: from food to boundaries to transportation and staffing the many booths. All trades and areas within the company were represented in the booths, showcasing all our functions. It was wonderful to see the different trades’ displays and listen to them talk about what they do and how they do it. It generated so much excitement and curiosity for the attendees. This event could not have been so successful without the help of all of you. Thank you!

My family, who traveled from Texas and Missouri to attend the open house, left so pumped about the shipyard. They all told me that it was the best open house that they had ever gone to. During my career, they have attended a lot of open houses, so it was really cool to hear that this one was the best. I am very proud of our team at BIW and what I have the privilege to do, but to hear it from my family takes it to a different level. For that, I cannot THANK YOU enough for a great celebration this past weekend!!

President, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works

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