MARAD Announces Funding Availability for Small U.S. Shipyards
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced in a May 26 release the availability of $9.8 million in Federal funding to support capital improvements and employee training at small U.S. shipyards. The grants, provided through the Small Shipyard Grant Program, help eligible shipyards modernize operations, improve efficiency and reap the benefits of increased productivity by investing in emerging technologies and a highly skilled workforce.
“Waterways and small shipyards are a critical component of our economic infrastructure and support thousands of jobs while helping us maintain our competitiveness as a nation,” said Elaine L. Chao, U.S. secretary of Transportation. “As trade and exports grow, our shipyards and other waterway systems must be able to keep pace.”
Even though most United States shipyards are in coastal areas, the economic ripple effects of America’s shipyards reach all 50 states. In 2013, U.S. shipbuilders directly employed 110,000 Americans and produced $37.3 billion in gross domestic product.
Eligible projects under the program include capital and related improvement projects that foster efficiency, competitive operations, and quality ship construction, repair and reconfiguration. In addition, training projects that foster employee skills and enhance productivity will also be considered.
“When it comes to American infrastructure, our shipyards are leading the way and currently producing some of the most modern and advanced vessels in the world,” MARAD Executive Director Joel Szabat said in the release. “They also provide quality jobs and support economic growth in local communities.”