10/19/2012 01:05 EDT | Updated 10/07/2013 02:15 EDT

Vancouver Shipbuilding Industry Reborn At Groundbreaking Ceremony

ADVANCE FOR USE SUNDAY, OCT. 14, 2012 AND THEREAFTER - FILE - In this Thursday, May 24, 2012 file photo, shipyard workers watch as the lower bow section of the nuclear powered aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford is lowered into position at Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va., due to be delivered to the U.S. Navy in 2015. President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are dueling over the size of government and defense cuts, pouring tens of millions of dollars into this crucial battleground, a state where military spending adds enormous sums to the local economy. The winner will claim Virginia’s 13 critical electoral votes - and most likely, better odds for capturing the White House. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C. - Construction crews have broken ground today at the shipyard in North Vancouver, B.C., where a new generation of vessels is being built for Canada.

Premier Christy Clark and federal politicians attended the ceremony marking the start of work on facilities needed to forge new ships for the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy.

The contract was awarded to the Vancouver Shipyards one year ago through the federal National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.

The $200-million revitalization of the waterfront yards will include four new fabrication buildings, a shipbuilding gantry crane and a load-out pier, to be completed by 2015.

Seaspan CEO Jonathan Whitworth says the marine workforce in B.C. will grow by 1,000 employees over the next three years, while the federal program is estimated to create a total of 4,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs.

Construction on the first of the new non-combat ships is planned for next year.