Defense Industry Value & Excellence
In December of 2015, Camden had the distinct privilege of hosting a group of executives representing companies from all over the country responsible for manufacturing submarine parts. The event, known as DIVE (Defense Industry Value Excellence), was organized by The Camden County Joint Development Authority, The Camden Partnership and the Camden County Chamber of Commerce with help from the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Georgia Power and Georgia Tech Centers of Innovation for Defense and Aerospace.
The attendees visited Camden County and Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base, where they heard briefings from Navy leadership, toured a submarine and learned about Camden’s superb workforce development programs at Camden County High School and Coastal Pines Technical College. Fred Mercier, an engineering and robotics instructor at Camden County High School, brought a working robot to the event, and with the help of a student demonstrated the high caliber education Camden students receive in fields that are of interest to these companies.
The two day event left a positive impression with company representatives about the state of Georgia, and quite particularly, Camden County. Steven Dobos, President of The Butler Weldments Corporation of Cameron, Texas said, “The DIVE event proved to be very informative and provided valuable networking opportunities with fellow submarine industrial base suppliers, Kings Bay naval base leaders and local community leadership.” The event, which was completely funded through event registration fees and the support of Georgia Power, also allowed the participants to see up-close and personal how their parts are used by sailors on board submarines. Dobos said of the submarine tour, “I actually had the chance this past Friday at our corporate Christmas luncheon to share my experiences at Kings Bay and drive home to our workforce that product quality is mission critical. We are so grateful for the leadership at Kings Bay and the team of volunteers that helped us plan and host this event. This type of teamwork sends a clear message to those watching Camden County that we are working together to support our military, grow our economy and develop a world class workforce”, said Camden County Joint Development Authority Executive Director James Coughlin.
“We were pleased to host 28 suppliers representing 18 companies ranging from locations in 150 countries to single location companies. Presidents, Vice Presidents, Sales Managers, and Business Development Officers were in attendance “said Sheila McNeill, President of The Camden Partnership.