The program “is designed to support small shipyard projects that make capital and related improvements; or provide training for workers in shipbuilding, ship repair and associated industries. ” (kali9/Getty Images)
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Additional funding is available for officials seeking to modernize operations at small shipyard facilities around the country, the U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced.
The availability of this new round of grants is meant to assist stakeholders with improvements at their facilities, as well as train a workforce tasked with managing operations at shipyards.
The $20 million dedicated for these facilities stems from the Maritime Administration’s small shipyard grant program. Applications to access this round of grants will run through the end of February, DOT indicated.
“Small shipyards play vital roles in their local economies and our national economy,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement accompanying the announcement on Jan. 19. The secretary is carrying out supply chain connectivity efforts for the Biden administration.
“With these funds, we are helping small shipyards across the country train their workers, modernize their equipment, and improve their operations,” the secretary continued.
Per the grant application process, the agency explained that it is encouraging applicants to consider the impact of climate change and environmental justice opportunities as part of planning and project delivery. Since its inception in 2008, the program has awarded nearly $300 million in grants.
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Last year, nearly $20 million in grants was awarded to 24 small shipyards in 19 states. “Small shipyards are a critical component of U.S. maritime operations and economic security, employing more than 100,000 Americans, fostering communities along and near our nation’s ports and waterways, and contributing tens of billions in gross domestic product,” according to DOT.
The program “is designed to support small shipyard projects that make capital and related improvements; or provide training for workers in shipbuilding, ship repair and associated industries. Supporting these types of projects drives efficiency, competitive operations and quality ship construction, repair and reconfiguration across the industry,” according to DOT.
“Small shipyards are essential to the U.S. maritime industry and critical to ensuring that we have a resilient industrial base,” said Maritime Administration Chief Ann Phillips.
“These shipyards are an economic pillar, strengthening our maritime industry and the communities along and near our nation’s ports and waterways, and employing thousands of Americans, who ensure the nation maintains expertise and skills critical to our economic and national security,” she added.
Last fall, the Maritime Administration awarded nearly $39 million in grants to a dozen marine highway projects. That funding was specific to expansion projects along marine highways to improve access to navigable waterways and reduce congestion.
“At a time of record demand for goods, it’s more important than ever to strengthen our supply chains so our manufacturers can grow and American families can get the things they need quickly and affordably,” Buttigieg said in a statement that accompanied the agency’s announcement in October.
For nearly two years, the White House has activated freight programs and sought to assist stakeholders with addressing supply chain bottlenecks. Biden administration officials have pointed to potential benefits resulting from supply chain-centric provisions in the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The bipartisan infrastructure law was enacted in 2021.
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