Shipbuilders Council of America – Small Shipyard Assistance Program

The Government Affairs practice has successfully supported the Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA) in its efforts to establish and fund a Small Shipyard Assistance Program (SSAP). The impetus for the program arose from the SCA’s realization that the largest shipyards in the nation received substantial investments from the Navy to make facility improvements that would bring down costs.  A comparable investment program targeting mid-tier and smaller shipyards had the potential to improve the productivity of those facilities, yielding even broader benefits to the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard and shipyard supplier base.

To date, Ball Janik LLP’s advocacy on behalf of the SCA has led to the authorization of the SSAP and more than $150 million in federal grant funding.

The Small Shipyard Assistance program was authorized by Section 3508 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (Pub. L. 110-417), which also authorized $25 million annually for the program. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funded the program at $100 million, and the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act provided $17.5 million. The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) had received over $1.2 billion in requests for these stimulus funds. Most recently, Congress included $10 million for the program in the FY13 continuing resolution appropriations bill.

The successful establishment and funding of the Small Shipyard Assistance program means that financial assistance in the form of competitive grants, loans and loan guarantees are now available to small shipyards for capital improvements and training purposes. These funds have been and will continue to be used to create vital infrastructure and jobs around the country.