PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Eastern Shipbuilding group hopes their protest of the Coast Guard cutter contract bidding process goes their way. But management is preparing in case it doesn’t.

Eastern is currently building the first four cutters of the three-phase contract. The full contract is for 25 cutters. The company is simultaneously looking for more business to replace the $3.3 billion contract loss.

Eastern Shipbuilding Deputy Program Manager Brendan D’Isernia said a ruling on the protest will come in October. 

He said the company has a thousand people in the workforce ready to build the second phase of cutters. 

“If we do not get additional work to fill it then yes there is risk to those jobs,” D’Isernia said. “So OPC stage two was the shoo-in to fill that so that’s why we’re significantly disappointed and continuing to protest the decision.”

But officials are optimistic about the company’s future.

“Regardless of what happens with the stage 2 protest, I’m here to tell you that the future remains bright,” Eastern Shipbuilding President Joey D’Isernia said.