NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — General Dynamics Electric Boat is bolstering its workforce by hiring thousands more workers over the next couple of years.

The growing workforce is part of the nearly $2 billion expansion of the Quonset Point facility. Electric Boat plans to hire more than 5,700 new employees over the next two years as part of the expansion.

Gov. Dan McKee said the company is also expanding education programs for local students.

“We’re going to be working with all the employers, all the higher education,” he said. “We’re going to take this education piece from 180 days, the traditional school education experience, to a full 365 days.”

“The men and women who build United States submarines are essential to our nation’s defense,” Sen. Jack Reed added. “It is vital that federal, state and local governments and private industry and academic institutions strategically work together to recruit, train and connect people to in-demand skills and good-paying jobs.”

There is also a new 100,000-square-foot building in Quonset Point that will support the production of nuclear-powered submarines for the U.S. Navy, and transport modules for assembly.