JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Almost $5 million has been awarded to Mississippi from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to modernize the state’s shipbuilding industry.

The funding, which comes as a part of the DoD’s Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program, will target workforce development initiatives to increase the defense sector’s capacity, capability, and resilience in Mississippi. The DoD grant will be matched by an additional $1.8 million investment from the state.

AccelerateMS will lead a newly-formed Mississippi Shipbuilding Industry Preparedness for National Security (MS-SHIPS) Consortium, alongside the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, which will serve as the grant’s fiscal agent.

“Mississippi’s defense industry represents billions of dollars and thousands of jobs which not only keep our country safe but also are a critical piece of our state’s economy,” said AccelerateMS Executive Director Ryan Miller. “I am encouraged by this partnership and the impact it will most definitely have on enhancing shipbuilding capacity and expanding workforce opportunities across Mississippi.”