MARAD Announces Grants to Strengthen U.S. Shipyard Competitiveness
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) awarded $9.8 million to 18 U.S. small shipyards through its Small Shipyard Grant Program, the agency announced in Sept. 5 release. These investments support industrial modernizations that will increase productivity and allow the country’s small shipyards to compete more effectively in the global marketplace.
“Small shipyards play a significant role in our country’s maritime sector, which contributes to our economy, security and infrastructure,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao. “In addition, these grants will support local communities by creating jobs for working families.”
Small shipyard facilities vary in size, from family owned businesses employing a few dozen workers, to multifaceted establishments with hundreds of employees. The grants, which were primarily available to U.S. shipyards with less than 600 production employees, are generally less than $1 million each, but can make a huge difference in a shipyard’s bottom line.
“U.S. shipyards produce some of the world’s best-built vessels,” said Maritime Administrator Mark H. Buzby. “These grants will fund the kinds of upgrades and modernization that ensure America’s shipbuilding industry remains strong and competitive internationally.”
Since 2008, MARAD’s Small Shipyard Grant Program has awarded $174 million to 169 small shipyards, helping them to modernize operations, improve efficiency and boost productivity with employee training and new technologies. Including direct, indirect, and induced impacts, total economic activity associated with American shipyards is nearly 400,000 jobs, $25.1 billion of labor income, and $37.3 billion in Gross Domestic Product.