Feb 21, 2006- Kaptur Supports Great Lakes Shipbuilding Jobs in Toledo; Effort Brings Home Millions
"Today, we join hands with our new partner, Ironhead Marine, Inc. as our community makes an investment in new jobs through economic development on our Great Lakes, right here in the Port of Toledo," said Kaptur. "To commercial shippers and mariners, this is especially good news as Toledo becomes the only operating full service shipyard on the lower Great Lakes."
Kaptur, a member of the influential House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, delivered the news of an additional investment of $4 million which she successfully included in the Defense Appropriations bill earlier this year. The new funds, coupled with $3.5 million dollars secured by Kaptur in the 2002 and 2003 Department of Defense and Housing and Urban Development funding bills, brings the total federal investment to $7.5 million dollars and will allow the Port Authority to move forward with plans to construct a new "high-bay" facility on its East Toledo shipyard property. The funds will also allow for significant renovations to existing facilities there, creating as many as 150 construction jobs and 200 new shipbuilding jobs in 2006 and 2007. When completed, the high bay facility will allow for all season construction and ship repair on the site making it one of the most advanced such sites on the Great Lakes.
Federal funding will comprise nearly 70% of the first phase of construction and renovations. Lucas County and the City of Toledo have also committed $1 million and $1.5 million respectively for the high bay construction project.
"This great announcement of new jobs and a new business partner at the Toledo Port will translate into millions of dollars for construction and shipbuilding jobs here at our historic shipyard," said Kaptur. "Placing emphasis on "winterizing" our shipbuilding capabilities with an enclosed high bay facility makes our shipyard a year round destination for ship repair and shipbuilding again. This giant step forward holds the potential to trigger the rebirth of new shipbuilding and vessel repairs capacity on the Great Lakes, centered at Toledo, the crossroads of the Great Lakes."
Kaptur concluded with remarks about a Bush Administration approved proposal to put the operation of several major U.S. ports in the hands of a Dubai based corporation adding, "As Americans witness with alarm the Bush Administration approval of the operations of strategic U.S. ports in our nation to Dubai Ports World -- a move which I oppose and will fight to overturn in Congress -- our investment here in U.S. shipbuilding capability to underpin economic and national security becomes even more important. The Great Lakes is America's 4th, and longest, seacoast. As America struggles to regain a firmer foothold in shipbuilding and shipping with other sea lanes like the Panama Canal and the Pacific looming as heavyweight, global competitors, it is incumbent upon us to do what we can to secure capability here."