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LaHood and DOT Weigh in on ARRA and Small Shipyard Grants

Overview of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) and maritime aspects of that Act. According to Lahood and DOT, "The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) was signed into law by President Obama on February 17th, 2009. It is an unprecedented effort to jumpstart our economy, create or save millions of jobs, and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The Act is an extraordinary response to a crisis unlike any since the Great Depression, and includes measures to modernize our nation's infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need." Under the terms of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Maritime Administration received $100 million for the Small Shipyards Grant Program, which had been funded at $10 million in 2008. This program provides 75 percent federal funds with 25 percent matching funds from the shipyard for capital improvements and related infrastructure improvements which will foster efficiency, competitive operations and quality ship construction and repair. Grant funds may also be used for maritime training programs to foster technical skills and operational productivity. On July 22, 2009, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood issued this statement: "In reviewing the $98 million small shipyard grant program, I have determined that the process used to evaluate the applications was incomplete.” "We are instituting a process that complies with the statutory instruction to consider the economic conditions of the communities where these shipyards are located. This will include examining the unemployment rate and other available economic data. We will go back and review every application and give applicants the opportunity to provide additional information if necessary. "We will meet our August 17 deadline for distributing these Recovery Act dollars to shipyards around the country." Recipients of the regular Small Shipyard grants, announced on July 9, 2009, can be seen by clicking HERE.