GMR Receives Federal Grant (USA)
The Tampa Port Authority has announced that one of its major tenants, Gulf Marine Repair, has been awarded a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The grant will assist in the upgrade and modernization of its primary dry dock facility.
The announcement was delivered on March 19th, 2012, by U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor. Castor is a long-time supporter of maritime industry at the Port of Tampa, including past involvement in grant acquisitions for infrastructure development at the port’s ship repair terminals.
“The funds will enable us to make modifications and repairs required for the dry dock’s continued operations, and will help us retain and create jobs right here at the Port of Tampa,” said Aaron Hendry, President at Gulf Marine Repair. “I’d like to thank Congresswoman Castor for pushing for job creation opportunities for the small businesses at the port.”
“To boost our economic recovery, we must play to our strengths and bolster our economic engines such as the port and small businesses,” said Representative Castor. “The Port of Tampa can be a primary force in leading economic recovery in our region.”
The grant comes from a $9.98 million federal initiative to support small shipyards’ capital improvements. Gulf Marine and the Port of Tampa received the only grant awarded in Florida.
In a recent press release, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said, “In cities and towns across America, shipyards are creating jobs and keeping our nation’s economy growing.”
“These small shipyard grants reflect the Obama administration’s commitment to strengthening our transportation systems and creating an economy that’s built to last.”
The U.S Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) Small Shipyard Grants Program provides equipment and technical skills training for America’s maritime workforce, helping these businesses compete in the global marketplace while creating well-paying jobs at home.
“They will provide new tools and equipment to help maritime businesses sustain and create good American jobs through increased productivity and efficiency,” said U.S. Maritime Administrator David Matsuda.
Gulf Marine has already made sizable investments in updating and maintaining the dry dock and this grant is expected to keep the dry dock in excellent working condition for years to come. Gulf Marine estimates the repair work on the dry dock will take 52 weeks, but the dry dock will remain in service while the upgrades occur.
“We are very pleased to see continued support for the ship building and repair activity at the Port of Tampa and a proactive commitment by our federal leadership that is placing clear priority on the seaports and their value to the U.S. economy,” said Richard Wainio, Tampa’s port director and chief executive.
Dredging Today Staff, March 28, 2012; Image: tampaport