Coincident with the celebration of its 114th anniversary as a Cleveland-based business, Great Lakes Towing Co. and Great Lakes Shipyard were awarded the 2012 Team NEO Economic Development Plus Award for Asset Creation in recognition of their achievements with their $11 million multiphase shipyard expansion project.

Team NEO (Northeast Ohio) is the regional office in Northeast Ohio for the state's JobsOhio business development program and stimulates job growth and economic development in the region. Team NEO offers marketing materials and tools to Northeast Ohio economic development organizations, communities, and businesses to increase regional opportunities. The annual event was sponsored by PNC, Humana, First Merit Bank, Timken, Sherwin Williams, Squire Sanders, Huntington, Lorain County Community College, Roetzel & Andress, First Energy, and many other businesses, community organizations, and educational institutions.

The shipyard expansion project is a four-phase project of which phases one through three have been completed at a total cost to date of $11.345 million. The expansion project has included land acquisition, environmental remediation, installation of bulkheading and a concrete reinforced slip, ground stabilization, construction of a new headquarters building and state-of-the-art indoor shipyard facility, installation of a 770-ton Travelift (the third largest in the world), and construction of a 68 foot-high temporary Shipyard facility.  So far, the expansion project has increased company revenue by 54 percent, increased its workforce from 37 to 101 employees (a 273 percent increase), and raised the average payroll by 141 percent.

Sen. Michael Skindell, representative of Ohio’s 23rd Senate District; Councilman Matt Zone of Cleveland’s Ward 15; and Tracey Nichols, director, Department of Economic Development and her staff were in attendance at the awards ceremony.  The Ohio Senate also honored The Great Lakes Towing Co. and Great Lakes Shipyard with a certificate in special recognition of their achievements.