DIVE – Bringing in our defense contractors

Last week The Camden Partnership hosted the third DIVE (Defense Industry: Value Excellence) conference. We had 25 attendees (the maximum) from 14 companies and 12 states. As a member of the Submarine Industrial Base Sheila McNeill, Pfesident of The Camden Partnership talked with defense contractors who, although they have built parts for submarines for years, have not had an opportunity to tour one. The two weeks prior to the event there were many obstacles – not to mention Hurricane Irma. But everyone pulled together to make it a reality.

A sunset cruise on the Cumberland Princess almost didn’t happen but the city of St. Marys, working with Lang’s Ferry Service, made it a reality. The beauty of Camden County was at its grandest that night and folks from as far away as California and Utah were captivated by the beauty of this area.

One of the most gratifying parts of the tour was hearing the contractors acknowledge their part in the build of the Ohio Class submarine. Seeing their product and hearing straight from the sailors using their product was most gratifying for them.

The DIVE group toured a submarine, attended briefings, toured Trident Refit Facility (again seeing their products) and Trident Training Facility. The briefers were great, and our DIVE group was impressed with the depth of their knowledge.

The Joint Development Authority hosted the last day and briefed our guests. They also arranged for the Georgia State Department of Economic Development to brief on the state’s new Defense Exchange Initiative that connects defense contractors doing business in Georgia.

We appreciate the support of our sponsors and “Team Camden” for providing the “goody bags” for each attendee.

To our “ambassadors” who drove the vans, covered the registration table and joined us for the meals and conversation with our guests - we thank you.