Birdon America to Expand Jefferson Parish Marine Engineering Office

ELMWOOD, La. – Birdon America, the U.S. arm of an Australia-based marine engineering and construction firm, announced it will expand its Jefferson Parish office to provide engineering design, supply chain, construction, and program management support for a new $1.1 billion U.S. Coast Guard contract.

The company plans to invest $3.3 million and create 25 direct new jobs at an average salary of $99,395 to oversee engineering and project management of construction and delivery of 27 state-of-the-art waterways commerce cutter vessels. Birdon will retain 12 existing positions, and Louisiana Economic Development (LED) estimates the project will result in 32 indirect jobs, for a total of 69 new and retained jobs in the Southeast Region.

“Birdon America’s decision to stay and grow in Louisiana to help build the vessels that protect our ports is a testament to the economic impact of Louisiana’s longstanding support for the U.S. military and national defense,” said LED Secretary Susan B. Bourgeois in a press release. “A billion-dollar defense contract, high-paying new engineering jobs and the local expansion of a respected global employer demonstrate what is possible for maritime companies doing business in our state.”

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The U.S. Coast Guard awarded the contract in 2023 to enhance maintenance and protection of the U.S. Intracoastal and Inland Marine Transportation System. An estimated 630 million tons of cargo is transported through this vital 12,000-mile system of commercially active waterways, accounting for more than $5.4 trillion of annual commerce and supporting 30.7 million U.S. jobs.

“Louisiana is a major hub for shipbuilding in America,” said Robert Scott, president of Birdon America. “It made sense to grow in this area based on the history of the workforce, supply chain availability for shipbuilding and geographic proximity to bodies of water. Birdon’s commitment to helping grow the defense industry base is shown by over 98% of our suppliers are U.S. companies and 70% of the contract will be performed by small businesses, many of them in Louisiana.”  

Birdon said it will collaborate with leading defense technology partners to integrate state-of-the-art systems for enhanced performance and efficiency. The 27 vessels will be constructed by Birdon over a 10-year period.

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“We are honored that Birdon America has chosen to continue calling Jefferson Parish home,” said Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng. “They are able to serve our nation from right here in Jefferson Parish thanks to a skilled workforce, ease of accessibility and a strong supply chain that can support this kind of work. We commend Birdon America for their important and far-reaching impact. We look forward to supporting their efforts on this project and many others in the future.”

LED offered an incentives package that included LED FastStart workforce development solutions. The company is also expected to participate in the state’s Quality Jobs program.

Birdon is a diversified global group of companies in the maritime, military and resource sectors. It has operations across the United States, Australia, Europe and Asia. Established in 1977 in Port Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia, Birdon expanded to the U.S. in 2009 and established headquarters in Denver. It is a partner of the U.S. Department of Defense and Dept. of Homeland Security.

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