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Inside the Navy's Slick Effort to Find Workers to Build Submarines

June 6, 2024

Lauren C. Williams

Defense One

David Ragan rounds Turn 4 in the NASCAR Cup Series Daytona 500 on February 19, 2024, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. JEFF ROBINSON/ICON SPORTSWIRE VIA GETTY IMAGES

By Lauren C. Williams, Defense One / June 5, 2024

The U.S. Navy, along with its shipbuilders and their thousands of specialty suppliers, need more than 100,000 workers to help build attack and ballistic missile submarines over the coming decade. That’s according to, whose ubiquitous ads you may have seen during reality TV shows, on NASCAR hoods, at WNBA games, and amid Major League Baseball broadcasts. But what is that website and who runs it? is the public face of an innovative, multi-organization effort to woo American workers to join a crucial part of the defense industrial workforce. The hub is BlueForge Alliance, a not-for-profit organization founded in November 2022 with a Navy contract and a mandate to gin up a new generation of shipbuilders. 

“Our nation depends on the American manufacturer,” Rob Gorham, the company’s co-founder and -CEO said in a 2023 press release. “BlueForge Alliance is committed to ensuring that American manufacturing is primed to support national security priorities, and to engaging and partnering with the industrial base in unprecedented ways to ensure our responsibility to our Navy and nation.” 

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