Editor's note: Congratulations to Innovation Hub/PATC business partner Paducah Barge. Paducah Barge was the recipient of a $700,750 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration (MARAD). The Small Shipyard grant program supports employee training and related improvements.
by David Zoeller
The Paducah Sun
June 20, 2019
Used with permission.
Word that Paducah Barge was the recipient of a $700,570 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration (MARAD) helped get owners Mike and Laura Taylor's vacation off to a great start.
"We got the good news as we were headed out," Mike Taylor said Wednesday, from Florida. "It makes for an even better vacation."
Paducah Barge is one of 28 recipients of a U.S. marine industry-related grant announced Monday as part of the overall $19.6 million Small Shipyard Grant program. The funding supports employee training and related improvements.
"These grants help create jobs in America's small shipyards, which play a significant role in our country's maritime sector," U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in Monday's announcement.
According to MARAD, small shipyards play a critical role in contributing to the nation's economy. Supporting more than 400,000 jobs, they create employment opportunities for working families and small communities.
Paducah Barge plans to use the grant funds to build a new dry dock to replace its current, aging one, and expand its welding internship program with area high schools through the Paducah Area Technology Center.
"We've got a partnership with them where we buy steel and rods and machines for those folks (students) to train on during the school year, and at the end of the school year we hire some juniors that are going to be coming back for their senior year in the welding program," Taylor said.
"We hire them for a summer internship out of the yard and we do hands-on training. They help us and we help them with a paycheck and experience," he said.