MARAD Funding Awarded to Small Shipyards
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration announced $20.8 million in grant awards earlier this week through the Small Shipyard Grant Program. The funds are expected to help shipyards modernize, increase productivity and expand local job opportunities.
“Small shipyards strengthen America’s commercial fleet, bolster our economic security, and generate good jobs,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “We are proud to support these shipyards reinforce their vital role in the U.S. maritime sector.”
The latest round of funding has been awarded to 27 small shipyards in 20 states. While a complete list of grants can be found here, examples of funding awards for painting and surface preparation equipment include:
“As shipbuilding technologies continue to advance, Small Shipyard Grants help America’s shipyards acquire the equipment they need to compete, thrive and expand America’s maritime industry,” remarked Maritime Administrator Ann Phillips. “These grants are also economic boosts to the communities in which shipyards are located as well as to our industrial supply chain.”
MARAD reports that, since 2008, the Small Shipyard Grant Program has awarded $303 million to nearly 350 shipyards in 32 states and territories throughout the country.
Recent MARAD Funding
Earlier this year, in February, MARAD announced more than $660 million in available funding for the Port Infrastructure Development Program. The PIDP aims to modernize the nation’s ports and help strengthen supply chains, helping to reduce shipping times, costs and ultimately the costs of goods. The bipartisan infrastructure package reportedly provides $450 million annually in funding for the program.
The latest Notice of Funding Opportunity makes more than $662 million available in Federal Fiscal Year 2023. PIDP discretionary grants help eligible applicants including port authorities, states, local governments, indigenous Tribal nations, counties, and other eligible entities complete critical port and port-related infrastructure projects.
According to the DOT’s release, the grants are awarded on a competitive basis to support projects that improve the safety, efficiency, or reliability of the movement of goods through ports and intermodal connections to ports.
MARAD will also consider how projects address climate change and sustainability, equity and workforce development objectives.
The DOT notes that recent projects funded included:
A full list of 2022 awarded projects can be found here.
Other Shipyard Painting News
That same month, the North Carolina Department of Transportation announced that the state shipyard paint facility in Manns Harbor had received a $1.3 million grant to improve conditions.
Awarded to the Ferry Division at the North Carolina State Shipyard, the grant from the U.S. Federal Transit Administration’s Ferry Service for Rural Communities Program, provides capital, planning and operating assistance to ferry services that serve rural communities.
According to the release, a study conducted by the Ferry Division revealed that fire-retardant paint on the steel beams in the shipyard’s paint facility was beginning to peel. Additionally, lighting inside the facility is reportedly not up to the standards of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Officials anticipated that the federal funding, plus a matching $336,000 from the Ferry Division, will remediate both issues.
In September last year, the U.S. Navy announced that it was standardizing wages for federal painters across all four public shipyards. The wage-grade increase was scheduled to take effect that month.
According to the release, the effort to standardize wage potential was led by the Naval Sustainment System–Shipyards (NSS-SY) People Pillar and required the coordination of the public shipyards, the Fleet and Defense Civilian Human Resource Offices. The increase is the first for top-tiered federal painters in 60 years.
While the previous top tier wage grade for federal painters fell at WG-9, the Naval Sea Systems Command Office of Corporate Communications has announced the grade has now been set at WG-10. The increase will reportedly affect approximately 145 shipyard painters.
These painters are also eligible for competitive promotions, as well as expanded career growth opportunities for skilled tradespeople. The four public shipyards include Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine; Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia; Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Bremerton, Washington; and Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Hawaii.