Nation’s Small Shipyards Get $20m Boost From Maritime Admin

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration announced on Monday nearly $20 million in funds to be released to 31 small shipyards.

Source : Maritime Administration

April 27, 2021

Author : Alex Bustillos

The goal of the funding is to “strengthen U.S. shipyard economic competitiveness.”

The funds will be administered through the Small Shipyard Grant Program, which has doled out $262.5 million to nearly 300 shipyards in 32 states and territories since 2008.

A November 2015 study by the Maritime Administration states “Currently there are 124 shipyards in the United States, spread across 26 states, that are classified as active shipbuilders.”

The money is meant to help companies that oversee the shipyards “modernize, increase productivity, and expand local employment opportunities while competing in the global marketplace,” according to a Maritime Administration press release

“Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, and small shipyards play a critical role in America’s maritime industry,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said. “These grants go directly to small shipyards across the country and will help protect and create local jobs, strengthen America’s maritime industry, and bolster our economic security.” 

The press release notes that “many small shipyards are family-run businesses—and they are all enterprises in which small investments can make big differences” and that by enabling the purchasing of American-made manufacturing equipment by shipyards, the Small Shipyard Grant Program indirectly supports other economic sectors in the United States.

“These grants will help small businesses do what they do best: build essential infrastructure while creating long-term jobs for American workers,” Lucinda Lessley, who is serving as Acting Maritime Administrator, said. “Better equipment means increased productivity and more ships moving through our small shipyards—and more ships mean more local jobs.” 

Shipyards set to benefit from this grant rollout include ones in Alabama, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

The press release outlines how much money each company is getting and for what purpose. For example, Master Boat Builders in Alabama will get $497,464 to buy two 30-ton mobile cranes and two extendable boom forklifts.

Only three companies will get grants greater than $1 million. Those include:

  • St. Johns Ship Building, Inc., a Florida company getting $1,342,724 for construction of a 2,000-ton drydock.
  • Bollinger Marine Fabrication in Louisiana, a family-owned and operated company getting $1,122,216 for the purchase of a Blast and Paint Plate Preservation Line Machine.
  • Stevens Towing Co. Inc., of South Carolina, another family-owned business getting $1,378,575 to help them buy a 820-metric ton travelift to “expand work in their new zero-emissions North Yard.”

Nearly hitting the million dollar mark is Heartland Fabrication in Pennsylvania, which is getting $982,954 “to support the purchase of a robotic welding system creating new job opportunities for robotic welding technicians.”

The oldest company to benefit from these grants is Hughes Bros. Inc. in New Jersey, which has been family-owned and operated for well over 100 years, since 1894. They will get $264,510 to support the purchases of new equipment. 

Category : Department of Transportation Economic Stimulus Federal Government Green Construction Investment in Infrastructure Labor Ports

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