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The U.S. Maritime Administration awarded $19.6 million in discretionary grants to 24 small shipyards on April 21 through its Small Shipyard Grant Program – funding made available in January that is intended to help modernize America’s small shipyards and thus make them more efficient in constructing commercial vessels.

“Small shipyard grants play a significant role in supporting local communities by creating jobs for working families,” noted Mark Buzby, MARAD’s administrator, in a statement.

Mark Buzby

He explained that helping shipyards to upgrade and expand empowers an industry that employs nearly 400,000, provides $25.1 billion of labor income, and comprises $37.3 billion worth of U.S. gross domestic product.

“These shipyards are a tangible investment in our nation’s maritime infrastructure and the future of our maritime workforce,” Buzby pointed out, adding that grants help them to compete more effectively in a rapidly changing global marketplace, increasing their repair and production footprints, and by extension creating more jobs throughout the country.

The agency also awarded $19.6 million in funds via its Small Shipyard Grant Program in 2019 and, since 2008, it has disbursed roughly more than $240 million in funding to support a total of 216 small shipyard grants.

 

editor@aashto.org

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