The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (Marad) announced today that it had awarded more than $20 million in grants to support capital improvements at 29 U.S. small shipyards. The awards are part of Marad's Small Shipyard Grant program, which supports capital improvements that foster increased efficiency and economic growth.

“These grants are an investment in our country’s small shipyards and will help create good jobs for America’s workers,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

U.S. shipyards support more than 400,000 jobs and contribute more than $37 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) to the nation’s economy, according to the Transportation Department. Small shipyards vary in size, but must have under 1,200 production employees to be eligible for grant awards. The yards play a significant role in the U.S. maritime sector, contributing to the nation’s economy, supporting national security, maintaining critical infrastructure, and creating employment opportunities for working families and in small communities, the DOT said.

“By supporting small shipyards, we are investing in the maritime infrastructure of the country,” said Maritime Administrator Mark H. Buzby.

Since 2008, the Small Shipyard Grant Program has awarded over $183 million to more than 180 small shipyards. These grants help fund the upgrades and expansions, allowing small yards to compete more effectively in a rapidly changing global marketplace. By providing the capital that will let shipyards increase their repair and production footprints these grants are helping to create more jobs throughout the U.S.

The grant recipients included:

Master Boat Builders Inc., Bayou La Batre, Ala., was awarded $1,332,607 to support the purchase of a 182-ton capacity crawler, 55-ton mobile crane and a 30-ton rough terrain crane.

Marine Group Boat Works LLC, Chula Vista, Calif., was awarded $392,037 to support the purchase of a CNC plasma table, 125' boom lift and a 33,000-lb. forklift.

Patti Marine Enterprises Inc.,Pensacola, Fla., was awarded $449,231 to support the purchase of a plasma cutting machine and iron worker.

James Marine Inc. dba Walker Boat Yard, Paducah, Ky., was awarded $1,125,000 to support the purchase of an 80-ton rough terrain crane.

Gravois Aluminum Boats LLC dba Metal Shark, Jeanerette, La., was awarded $451,860 to support the purchase of an 80-ton rough terrain crane and welding equipment.

Bollinger Shipyards, Lockport, La., was awarded $521,753 to support the purchase of a lathe mill multitask machine and a PythonX robotics CNC plasma cutting structural fabrication system.

Chesapeake Shipbuilding Corp., Salisbury, Md., was awarded $492,047 to support the purchase of four extending boom forklifts, a mobile crane and construction of larger mobile launching ways.

Washburn & Doughty Associates Inc., East Boothbay, Maine, was awarded $618,750 to support the purchase of robotic welding machines and a CNC lathe.

United States Marine Inc., Gulfport, Miss., was awarded $313,270 in support of the establishment of a lamination apprentice program and the purchase of a CNC core cutting machine and paint booth.

Bayonne Drydock and Repair Corp., Bayonne, N.J., was awarded $1,081,950 in support of the purchase of a CNC plasma table, brake press, plate roll, welding machines, iron worker, graving dock upgrades and hydroblast equipment.

Sause Bros. Inc. dba Southern Oregon Marine Inc., Coos Bay, Ore., was awarded $642,329 in support of the purchase of a mobile rough terrain crane, air compressors and a self-contained fabricated paint management system.

Ice Floe LLC dba Nichols Brother Boat Builders, Freeland, Wash., was awarded $1,312,500 to support the purchase of a 250-ton lattice boom crawler crane.

Fincantieri Marine Group LLC, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, Sturgeon Bay, Wis., was awarded $1,401,061 in support of the purchase and installation of four 50-ton overhead cranes.

Fraser Shipyard Inc., Superior, Wis., was awarded $500,738 to support the purchase of two self-propelled modular transporters and a high-capacity forklift.

For the complete list, click here.

David Krapf has been editor of WorkBoat, the nation’s leading trade magazine for the inland and coastal waterways industry, since 1999. He is responsible for overseeing the editorial direction of the publication. Krapf has been in the publishing industry since 1987, beginning as a reporter and editor with daily and weekly newspapers in the Houston area. He also was the editor of a transportation industry daily in New Orleans before joining WorkBoat as a contributing editor in 1992. He has been covering the transportation industry since 1989, and has a degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Oswego, and also studied journalism at the University of Houston.