The US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Maritime Administration (MARAD) has earmarked $19.6m for 24 small shipyards in 19 states.

The funds will be used to carry out upgrades that will boost productivity and extend local employment opportunities.

The funding has been allocated to Alabama-based Blakely Boatworks, Alaska-based Catalyst Marine Engineering and California’s Bay Marine Boatworks, as well as International Ship Repair & Marine Service and Patti Marine Enterprises in Florida.

Grants were also provided to Louisiana-headquartered Turn Services, Massachusetts-based Duclos Corporation dba Gladding Hearn, Maryland’s Chesapeake Shipbuilding, Michigan-based Moran Iron Works, and ST Engineering Halter Marine and Offshore in Mississippi.

Missouri’s Arcosa Marine Products, New Jersey-based Dorchester Shipyard and New York’s May Ship Repair Contracting, as well as McGinnis and the Great Lakes Towing Company in Ohio also received funds.

Other awardees include Oregon-based Blackfish Solutions and Shaver Transportation, Rhode Island-based Blount Boats, South Carolina’s Detyens Shipyards, Virginia’s Fairlead Boatworks, and Wisconsin-based Fincantieri Marine Group, as well as Ice Floe, LLC dba Nichols Brothers Boat Builders and SAFE Boats International in Washington.

The latest funds were granted as part of the Small Shipyard Grant Programme.

MARAD has allocated $282.2m to around 300 shipyards in 32 US states and territories under the programme since 2008.

US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy, and small shipyards play a critical role in America’s maritime industry, helping us get the goods we depend on every day.

“These grants will help modernise small shipyards in communities across the country, creating and protecting local jobs, strengthening America’s maritime industry, and securing our economic future.”

In May, MARAD awarded an additional $234.3m for the Port Infrastructure Development Programme (PIDP).