More than 300 visitors attended the Open House hosted by Gulf Copper Drydock & Rig Repair located on Pelican Island on Tuesday. The Galveston Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors officiated at the ribbon cutting and official opening of the newly constructed Fabricating Facility along with company principles Stephen Hale, CEO, Jonathan Hale, VP Capitol Projects, Leonard Hale, VP, Galveston Operations, company employees and guests.
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Speakers at the ribbon cutting included John Tindle, Vice Chair, Port of Galveston, Jeff Sjostrom, Executive Director, Galveston Economic Development Partnership and V.J. Tramonte, Chairman, Galveston Chamber of Commerce. Special guests included Captain John Peterlin, Roger Quiroga, Mike Mierzwa and Pat Wade, Port of Galveston; Galveston City Councilmember Elizabeth Beeton, Vandy Anderson and John Kelso, Navigation District, as well as Gulf Copper customers from Texas, Tunisia and Guam.
Gulf Copper owns and operates the second largest dry dock on the Gulf Coast and repairs vessels and oil rigs. In addition, the company services government contracts and provides fabrication machining at five locations including Galveston, Port Arthur, Corpus Christi, San Diego, CA, and Agat, Guam. Employee owned and customer driven, Gulf Copper, in 2010, employed, on the average, 500 workers at the Galveston facility alone. The number of full time employees will increase by at least 15 with the opening of the Fabrication Facility.
Gulf Copper opened the Galveston location five years ago in May. Sustaining serious damage from Hurricane Ike in 2008, company executives Steven Hale, President & CEO, Leonard Hale, VP Galveston Operations, Jonathan Hale, VP Capital Projects, Will Wilson, VP Administration, and Pat Guillory, Chief Financial Officer, have diligently stayed on course to repair the shipyard, and build a fabrication facility in order to expand services.
The fabrication facility expansion was made possible through a collaboration of funding made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, $2.25 million; Gulf Copper $1.5 million; and the Port of Galveston, $600,000. The Stimulus funds were administered by the U.S. Maritime Administration with funds granted to help create jobs in a deep recession.