WARREN, RI – U.S. Senator Jack Reed today announced that two Rhode Island shipyards
will be awarded $1,114,370 in federal funding to make capital improvements that will
help create jobs, increase economic activity, and improve their building, service,
and maintenance capabilities. Blount Boats in Warren will receive $508,927 and J.
Goodison Company in North Kingstown will receive $635,453 from the U.S. Department
of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) through the Small Shipyard Grant
Program.

Senator Reed, who successfully wrote the law to restore federal funding for the
Small Shipyard Grant Program, says the federal grants will help the local shipyards
purchase needed equipment, improve efficiency, and train a skilled workforce of
contractors and welders for commercial shipyards while also supporting our military
shipbuilding industrial base.

Blount Boats will use the federal funds to help the company purchase a 25-ton
submersible, self-propelled marine transporter to haul USCG rescue vessels due for
maintenance and repair, explosion-proof lighting, blasting system, belt-sander and
plate roller that will help the company make needed improvements to its hull and
paint shops. The project also includes creating a series of work stations. All of
the improvements will help the shipyard increase efficiencies in its production
capability and operations.

J. Goodison Company, a veteran-owned shipyard that provides repair services to
commercial and government vessels, will use its federal grant to purchase a wash
water collection and treatment system, along with new boom lifts, scissor lifts, and
scaffolding towers. The addition of this equipment will allow the shipyard to
expand operations and work on more vessels simultaneously. Taken together, the new
investments will help the shipyard create jobs and realize increased environmental
efficiencies in its operations. J. Goodison Company, which was founded in 1999,
already services vessels such as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) and U.S. Coast Guard cutters.

“Small shipyards like Blount Boats and J. Goodison Company help provide a big lift
to Rhode Island’s economy. I worked to restore the Small Shipyard Grant Program and
secure federal funds for it because it helps these businesses compete to build and
service ships here in Rhode Island, bringing more jobs and opportunities to the
Ocean State. This was a highly competitive grant process with nearly 100 shipyards
requesting federal funds. I am pleased that Rhode Island companies successfully
competed for these grants,” said Reed, the Ranking Member of the Transportation,
Housing, and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations
Subcommittee.

After funding for the Small Shipyard Grant Program lapsed for two years, Senator
Reed successfully led the effort to restore funding and provide $5 million in the
THUD division of the 2016 omnibus appropriations bill to restart the program, which
has helped shipyards across Rhode Island recapitalize and become more competitive.
In the 2017 omnibus appropriations bill, Reed again led the successful effort to
continue the program and increase the funding to $10 million.

“U.S. shipyards, especially some of our smaller yards, produce some of the world’s
best-built vessels,” said Maritime Administrator Mark H. Buzby. “These grants will
fund the kinds of upgrades and modernization that ensure America’s shipbuilding
industry remains strong and competitive internationally.”

“Blount Boats is truly grateful to Senator Reed for his consistent and enthusiastic
support of the Small Shipyard Grant Program. The equipment and training purchased
through these grants are transformative for smaller yards,” said Marcia Blount,
President of Blount Boats, Inc.

“This is great news that will help us continue to expand and promote economic
development and employment growth. We look forward to putting this new equipment to
good use and appreciate Senator Reed’s leadership and support for Rhode Island’s
maritime workers and our shipyards,” said Jack Goodison, founder and co-owner of J.
Goodison, Inc.

The Small Shipyard Grants, which are limited to no more than 75 percent of the
estimated improvement costs, are available to U.S. shipyards with less than 1,200
production employees.

Over the years, Rhode Island shipyards have received $5.3 million in grants from
this program. Other small Rhode Island shipbuilding companies that have received
federal funds in the past for infrastructure enhancements include Newport Shipyard
in Newport and Senesco Marine in North Kingstown.

According to MARAD’s report, The Economic Importance of the U.S. Shipbuilding and
Repairing
Industry,
shipyards nationwide provide 110,000 jobs across the country and contributed $37.3
billion to the Gross Domestic Product in 2013.