WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) has awarded $19.6 million in discretionary grants to 24 small U.S. shipyards through the Small Shipyard Grant Program, according to an April 20 release from MARAD. The funding will help modernize America’s small shipyards, making them more efficient in constructing commercial vessels.
“This $19.6 million federal government investment in the nation’s small shipyards will help maintain the U.S. shipyard infrastructure of our country,” U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao said.
MARAD’s Small Shipyard Grant Program provides funding to assist eligible shipyards in modernizing operations, improving efficiency and reaping the benefits of increased productivity by investing in emerging technologies and a highly skilled workforce. Projects under the program include capital and related improvement projects that foster efficiency, competitive operations and quality ship construction, repair and reconfiguration. In addition, the program can fund training projects that foster employee skills and enhance productivity.
“Small shipyard grants play a significant role in supporting local communities by creating jobs for working families,” Maritime Administrator Mark H. Buzby said. “These shipyards are a tangible investment in our nation’s maritime infrastructure and the future of our maritime workforce.”
The economic footprint of American shipyards is nearly 400,000 jobs, $25.1 billion of labor income and $37.3 billion in gross domestic product.