MARAD announces $9.4m grants to support US small shipyards

BZ. Shipbuilding is not just about the big beautiful bastards like aircraft carriers. It’s the day-to-day utilitarian workboats, barges, coastal craft and small boats.

U.S. Maritime Administration Announces $9.46 Million in Support of Shipyards Nationwide

Small Shipyard Grant Program Creates Jobs and Increases Economic Competitiveness

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced $9.46 million to help improve 12 shipyards in 10 states. The grants, provided through the Small Shipyard Grant Program, foster efficiency and modernizations that allow shipyards to compete more effectively in the global marketplace. Acting Maritime Administrator Paul ‘Chip’ Jaenichen made the announcement at Jeffboat, LLC, one of the grant recipients, located in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

“Improvements at our shipyards mean more ships can be built right here in the United States, which means more jobs for hard-working Americans,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “These grants are about creating new opportunities in our local communities, as well as competing in the global economy.”

For this latest round of awards, MARAD received 113 grant applications requesting $96 million in assistance, far exceeding the $9.46 million made available for the grants. The grants fund a variety of projects including infrastructure improvements and equipment upgrades to increase operational competitiveness and quality vessel construction.

Shipyards across the nation continue to create new jobs and strengthen local economies. Since 2009, the Obama administration has provided more than $150 million to help U.S. shipyards and their workers reap the benefits of increased production capabilities delivered by emerging technologies and highly skilled workers.

Jeffboat, LLC, received an $845,817 grant. The Jeffboat facility has four production lines that are used for the construction of barges ranging in size from river hopper barges to 52,000 barrel tank barges. The grant announced today will allow Jeffboat to adjust the width and orientation of one of its vessel lines, helping the facility to enhance efficiency.

“It is no secret that the economic ripple effect of our nation’s shipyards is far-reaching,” said Acting Maritime Administrator Paul “Chip” Jaenichen. “While shipyards improve their infrastructure, they’re also creating new opportunities in industries and communities across the country.”

Although not a grant recipient, Marine Travelift, Inc., of Sturgeon Bay, Wis., has reaped the benefits of the program by providing boat hoists and other marine services to more than 11 shipyards nationwide that have received MARAD Small Shipyard Grant funding. According to MTI, this has translated into nearly $15 million in revenue, allowing the company to create more jobs in the region.

For a complete list of shipyards receiving grants, go to: http://www.marad.dot.gov/documents/Grant_Awards.doc

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