Morris Yachts bringing back laid-off workers

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Maine boatbuilder Morris Yachts announced it will be able to rehire laid-off workers thanks to a multimillion-dollar contract.

Morris Yachts will bring its employee numbers back to prelayoff levels with the contract, under which it will build Leadership 44 sailboats for the Coast Guard Academy.

A company representative could not immediately be reached for comment this morning.

"This is a very prestigious and timely contract for Morris Yachts," the company said in a statement. "It is an honor to be chosen by our country's Coast Guard to build these craft. These vessels are the foundation of leadership training at the Coast Guard Academy."

"Secondly, it allows Morris to bring back as many as 20 of our skilled workers who were furloughed this summer due to economic times," the company added.

Mechanics, electricians, carpenters and composite craftsmen will be rehired this fall, the company said. The Coast Guard hopes to build as many as eight boats - one for each cadet company.

"We look at the partnership of designer and builder for our Leadership 44 program as a huge win-win for everybody involved," said Bob Hallock, Leadership 44 procurement chair. "We have in David Pedrick one of the most acclaimed yacht designers in the world, and in our builder, Morris Yachts, we have arguably the finest builder in the country and a firm that will be our partner long after our last boat is launched."

The Coast Guard Academy is involved in a large capital campaign to fund the project.

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