The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (Marad) today announced 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.
Even though most U.S. shipyards are located in coastal areas, the economic ripple effects of U.S. shipyards reach all 50 states. In 2013, U.S. shipbuilders directly employed 110,000 workers and produced $37.3 billion in gross domestic product.
Applications for the grants are due by 5 p.m. EST on July 5, 2017. Marad intends to award grants no later than Sept. 5, 2017. Additional information is available on line or by contacting David M. Heller (David.Heller@dot.gov), director, Office of Shipyards and Marine Engineering, Maritime Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave., S.E., Washington, D.C. 20590.
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.
“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,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said in a statement announcing the re-investment in the programming. “As trade and exports grow, our shipyards and other waterway systems must be able to keep pace.”
“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,” said Marad’s executive director Joel Szabat. “They also provide quality jobs and support economic growth in local communities.”