U.S. Representative Rick Larsen today congratulated two Northwest Washington small businesses for winning federal grants under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) Assistance to Small Shipyards program. All American Marine, Inc. in Bellingham was awarded $285,000 this week to acquire metal cutting machinery and boat transfer equipment. Everett Shipyard, Inc. was awarded $297,036 for work stations and an overhead crane.
“Small shipyards play a vital role in Northwest Washington’s marine industry as well as serving three major U.S. Navy bases, the nation’s largest ferry system, and a major U.S. Coast Guard facility,” said Larsen. “These grants are a smart federal investment that will help these shipbuilders increase their productivity and continue to create and support local jobs.”
In March, Larsen sent a letter to the Maritime Administration in support of Everett Shipyard’s application for federal funding. Receiving this grant, Larsen wrote, would allow Everett Shipyard to reorganize its existing steel fabrication workforce to enhance worker efficiency and productivity. With the funding, Everett Shipyard will create four enhanced steel construction work states, run underground utilities to those workstations and install an overhead crane system to support them.
According to MARAD, Assistance to Small Shipyards grants are awarded “to help make capital and infrastructure improvements that facilitate the efficiency, cost-effectiveness and quality of domestic ship construction, conversion or repair for commercial and federal government use.” The grants cover a maximum of 75 percent of the estimated cost of improvements, while the companies receiving the grants are responsible for the remainder.