WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced that Chesapeake Shipbuilding has been awarded a $545,504 Maritime Administration grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to purchase equipment and make improvements to the shipyard’s vessel assembly building. As Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Mikulski fought to put funds in the federal checkbook for DOT and the Maritime Administration’s Small Shipyard Grant Program.
“Chesapeake Shipbuilding is known for two things; laying down quality vessels and creating quality jobs for Marylanders on the Eastern Shore. This federal investment will ensure that both traditions continue to expand,” said Senator Cardin who visited Chesapeake Shipbuilding during his Made in Maryland Tour. “I’ve seen the operation at Chesapeake Shipbuilding first hand and look forward to more Maryland built vessels contributing to the maritime industry in ports across America.”
“This grant is about jobs, jobs, jobs,” said Senator Mikulski, Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which funds DOT. “These funds in the federal checkbook will help Chesapeake Shipbuilding expand and grow their business in a safe and efficient way. It will create jobs today in Salisbury in shipbuilding, and jobs tomorrow in Baltimore and up and down the East Coast.”
These federal dollars will be used to purchase a 55-ton rough terrain mobile crane and purchase a permanent industrial gas distribution system, which will improve efficiency as well as alleviate a number of safety risks. The grant will also be used to make improvements to the shipyard’s vessel assembly building. These purchases and improvements will allow the shipyard to expand its capacity to meet increased market demand for new tug boats on the Eastern Seaboard.
Chesapeake Shipbuilding specializes in the construction of passenger boats, tugboats and ferries. Their location in Salisbury puts them close to suppliers in Norfolk, Philadelphia and Baltimore. Chesapeake Shipbuilding has been expanding their presence in Salisbury, and completed their fifth hull fabrication facility in December of last year. They employ more than 100 people.
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