Jones Act Continues to Deliver for American Merchant Vessel
US – The US Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Maritime Administration (MARAD) has announced the availability of $19.6 million in federal funding to support capital improvements and employee training at small US shipyards. The grants are provided through the Small Shipyard Grant Program, and is aimed at helping eligible shipyards modernize operations, increase efficiency and reap the benefits of increased productivity. US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, commented:
“Our country’s infrastructure relies on the success of our shipyards, ports, and waterways; this grant program helps provide workers with the training they need to succeed in the 21st Century economy.”
American shipyards continue to create new jobs and strengthen the economy. In 2013, US shipbuilders directly employed 110,000 Americans and produced $37.3 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). US sailors, ship builders and a myriad of support workers are buoyed up by the Jones Act which precludes foreign built, managed and crewed ships from operating in domestic waters.
Available to US shipyards with less than 1,200 production employees, the grants support a variety of projects; including capital and related improvements, as well as equipment upgrades that foster ship construction, repair and reconfiguration. The grants can also be used to cultivate maritime training programs intended to enhance employee skills and productivity. Maritime Administrator Mark Buzby, said:
“These grants will help small shipyards continue to build top-of-the-line vessels in addition to creating jobs and supporting economic growth in their local communities.”
The Small Shipyard Grant Program provides key materials and training to our communities, further highlighting the Administration’s efforts to invest in projects that will lead to long-term improvements, opportunities, and productivity.