Maritime Administration announces over $1.1 Million in funding to RI shipyards

Maritime Administration Announces Over $1.1 Million in Funding to Rhode Island Shipyards
$9.8 Million Awarded Nationwide to Strengthen Local Shipyard Competitiveness & Efficiency

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) Tuesday awarded $1,144,380 million in grants to support capital improvements at two shipyards in Rhode Island.  They are two of 18 small shipyards located throughout the U.S. that received $9.8 million through the Small Shipyard Grant Program.  These investments support industrial modernizations that will increase productivity and allow the country’s small shipyards to compete more effectively in the global marketplace.   

“Small shipyards play a significant role in our country’s maritime sector, which contributes to our economy, security, and infrastructure,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.  “In addition, these grants will support local communities by creating jobs for working families.”

Small shipyards vary in size, from family-owned businesses employing a few dozen workers, to multifaceted establishments with hundreds of employees. The grants, which were primarily available to U.S. shipyards with less than 600 production employees, are generally less than $1 million, but can make a huge difference in a shipyard’s bottom line. 

A family-run shipyard founded in 1949, Blount Boats, Inc. in Warren, RI, has been in continuous operation ever since. The shipyard will use $508,927 in funding for metal working equipment, painting enhancements and to purchase a 25-ton marine transporter. 

J. Goodison Company, Inc., in North Kingston, RI, was founded in 1999 and has grown to support almost 100 employees in just under twenty years. The veteran-owned shipyard was awarded $635,453 funding to support the purchase of a wash water collection and treatment system. Rhode Island shipyards produce nearly 6,000 direct, indirect, and induced jobs and contribute more than $431 million in direct, indirect, and induced labor income to the Nation’s economy

Since 2008, MARAD’s Small Shipyard Grant Program has awarded $174 million to 169 small shipyards, helping them to modernize operations, improve efficiency and boost productivity with employee training and new technologies. Including direct, indirect, and induced impacts, total economic activity associated with American shipyard is nearly 400,000 jobs, $25.1 billion of labor income, and $37.3 billion in GDP

“U.S. shipyards produce what are unquestionably the best-built vessels in the world,” said Maritime Administrator Mark H. Buzby. “The grants awarded today will help ensure that America’s shipbuilding industry remains the international standard.”  

(release from Marad) 

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