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Bremerton shipyard hiring despite government shutdown

Bremerton navy shipyard hiring despite government shutdown (PHOTO: KOMO News)

Despite the partial government shutdown the federal government is hiring in Bremerton.

They're spending money because they’re part of the Department of Defense, which is not impacted by the shutdown. A Navy spokesman said the shipyard’s 2019 fiscal budget was approved long before the shutdown.

For the communities that surround the shipyard - the timing couldn't be better.

There is a buzz in the air at The Coffee Oasis Burwell Cafe in Bremerton, and it's not just the caffeine talking.

"Do you want any room for cream?" Oasis manager Rachel Marvin asked a customer.

The tiny coffee shop with a heart - their profits support homeless youth - sits in the shadow of the shipyard.

"We love to help," said Marvin.

They could be on the verge of taking their popular white mocha — aka white velvet — sales over the top.

"For me it's super exciting because 75 percent of our profits here at this location are from the shipyard,” said Marvin.

They heard the news about their next door neighbor Puget Sound Naval Shipyard is hiring.

"It's part of the annual effort to replenish the workforce," said A.J. Mathews, a shipyard spokesman. “It’s part of our normal churn.”

Seven-hundred fifty entry-level, shipyard jobs are up for grabs starting Thursday; everything from dismantling vessels to assisting trade workers. Last year Mathews said the yard's goal was 500 hires.

"It's important to hire that number of people to ensure we deliver ships and subs on time to meet national military strategy and support the nation’s business," said Navy Capt. Mark Harris. he is the Supply and Logistic Officer for Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and IMF.

The hiring is part of a growth trend at the yard.

In 2010 the navy says its shipyard workforce included just over 10,000 employees; it now tops 14,000. New hiring goals would push it to 15,000 in 2019.

"I think Bremerton is on the up and up and I think it's going in a good direction," said Marvin. He also said success at the Bremerton cafe is allowing them to open more coffee shops — two more are planned for Tacoma and Kingston.

"It's not just the restaurants and locals it's also Silverdale, Port Orchard, housing communities and things like that so it is going to really enhance the shipyard and it is going to really enhance the community here," said Capt. Harris.

A symbiotic relationship that began in the 1890s that continues to grow today.

Job candidates can apply here but only from Thursday to Monday.

The positions include health benefits, vacation time, sick leave, paid holidays and a retirement plan.

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