Bath Iron Works has been very important to me and my family, to this country’s Navy and to this state. It deserves the public’s support.

In 1982, I went to work at BIW as a laborer on third shift. Thirty-six years later, I run the painting operation. It is an important responsibility. A DDG 51 takes 70,000 gallons of paint, applied in an engineered process to protect the steel ship from the elements.

The ships we build become home to this nation’s sailors and protect them as they protect us.

My work at BIW isn’t easy, but it is very rewarding. It has allowed me to own a home and to raise a family. I was able to send my children to Catholic schools in Lewiston, and now they are starting out in their own careers. One of my sons also works at BIW, which means he can support my granddaughters.

I used the company’s education benefits to get my associate degree at CMCC.

BIW also has been good to the state because every ship we build means millions of dollars in taxes for the state — far more than the tax credit now before the Legislature. That money helps pay for other valuable state programs.

Each ship we don’t build — that goes to a competitor — represents hundreds of jobs that are not created and millions in lost taxes for Maine.

The Shipbuilding Facility Tax Credit is a good deal for the people of this state.

Edward Jalbert, Lewiston

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