The U.S. Maritime Administration recently issued $19.6 million worth of funding to 31 small shipyards in 15 states through its Small Shipyard Grant Program.
[Above photo via MARAD]
The agency said those funds would help awardees modernize, increase productivity, and expand local employment opportunities while competing in the global marketplace.
MARAD added that its Small Shipyard Grant Program has awarded $262.5 million to nearly 300 shipyards in 32 states and territories throughout the nation over the last 13 years.
“Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, and small shipyards play a critical role in America’s maritime industry,” explained Pete Buttigieg, secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, in a statement.
“These grants go directly to small shipyards across the country and will help protect and create local jobs, strengthen America’s maritime industry, and bolster our economic security,” he said.
Lucinda Lessley, MARAD’s acting administrator, said that small shipyards are “essential parts” of the country’s maritime industrial base, employing thousands of Americans.
“They strengthen communities along and near our nation’s ports and waterways,” she added. “Many small shipyards are family-run businesses—and they are all enterprises in which small investments can make big differences.”
The agency noted that small shipyards can use grants to purchase equipment or provide training to employees.
“These grants will help small businesses do what they do best: build essential infrastructure while creating long-term jobs for American workers,” Lessley noted. “Better equipment means increased productivity and more ships moving through our small shipyards—and more ships mean more local jobs.”