U.S. Senator Jack Reed announced Tuesday two new federal Small Shipyard Grants totaling over $1.4 million to upgrade equipment and boost production at J. Goodison Company and Senesco Marine, both located at Quonset Point.
The federal funding comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s 2023 Maritime Administration (MARAD) Small Shipyard Grant program, which Senator Reed led efforts to fund.
J. Goodison netted a $704,206 Small Shipyard Grant to support the purchase of a 176-ton hydraulic self-propelled vessel transporter. The transporter will give J. Goodison an increased ability to handle and service vessels in that weight range more efficiently.
A veteran-owned business, J. Goodison Company has been operating in Rhode Island since 2001. Its facilities in Narragansett Bay are ideally located to service a wide range of government and commercial vessels operating in the North Atlantic. The shipyard’s clients include the U.S. Navy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Coast Guard, and the region’s commercial fishing fleet.
The addition of this vessel transporter will allow the shipyard to expand its current services, while adding the necessary capacity to serve an increasing number of Crew Transfer Vessels (CTVs) operating in the region. These vessels are essential to enabling the growth and success of the offshore wind market in the Northeast.
Senesco Marine LLC is another Rhode Island small shipyard that is vital to the region and the growing offshore wind industry. Senesco Marine landed a $738,289 Small Shipyard Grant to support the purchase of a one-sided submerged arc welding system (SAW-OSW); upgraded network servers and software; a specialized Lull/All Terrain Lift that is a cross between a forklift, a tractor, and a boom lift.; and a 1600-1800 CFMM IQ Tier 4 compressor that converts energy into compressed air that is used to provide high pressure air to critical shipbuilding equipment.
Senesco Marine was formed in 1999 and operates a 30-acre shipyard along Narragansett Bay, including a three-acre repair yard, two dry docks, and a full-service, indoor assembly area. Materials at Senesco can be received by rail, truck, or barge. Senesco’s full-service, indoor aluminum production area is the largest in the Northeast.
“Rhode Island’s small ship yards make big contributions to our economy. They build and maintain the vessels that drive our economy and protect our coasts. In addition to servicing the Coast Guard, Navy, offshore wind sector, and private and commercial vessels, these small shipyards generate jobs and economic opportunities. We’ve got to keep them competitive and ensure they are prepared to meet the needs of the nation’s transportation, security, energy, and navigation fleet. I will continue working to direct federal dollars and investment to Rhode Island’s ports, shipbuilders, and shipyards,” said Senator Reed, a senior member of the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee.
“We are thankful for Senator Reed’s leadership and support from throughout the Rhode Island Congressional delegation to help keep our region’s dynamic maritime industry afloat. This award will allow us to grow our competitive vessel repair services and the new good-paying jobs this equipment will help bring about,” said Jack Goodison, President and CEO of J. Goodison Co.
“Senesco Marine is very grateful to MARAD and Senator Reed and staff for the support, assistance and awarding of this critical funding. The equipment that has been funded will allow Senesco Marine to be competitive in the industry for decades to come as well as bring as many as 200 new jobs to the State in the years to come as we support commercial operations and offshore wind up and down the East Coast of the United States,” said Ted Williams, President of Senesco Marine, LLC.
After funding for the Small Shipyard Grant Program lapsed for a two-year period nearly a decade ago, Senator Reed led the successful effort to restore funding for the program and restarted it in 2016. In the most recent omnibus appropriations law, Senator Reed included $20 million for the Small Shipyard Grant Program.
MARAD’s Small Shipyard Grant Program is designed to support small shipyard projects and help them modernize through capital improvements and related upgrades or by providing employee training for workers in shipbuilding, ship repair, and associated industries.
Small Shipyard Grants are available to U.S. shipyards with fewer than 1,200 production employees. Over the years, Rhode Island shipyards have received nearly $9 million in federal grants from this program.
Other small Rhode Island shipbuilding companies that have received federal funds in the past include Blount Boats in Warren and Newport Shipyard in Newport.
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