Fitzpatrick seeks to secure new federal shipbuilding work for Pennsylvania workers

Credit: Philly Shipyard

U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) aims to bring his home state more federal shipbuilding contracts, particularly for the Philly Shipyard, one of the nation’s leading commercial ship builders.

“The Philly Shipyard represents enormous economic opportunity for residents and enterprises in the greater Philadelphia region,” Rep. Fitzpatrick said on June 6 after touring the Philly Shipyard with U.S. Reps. Scott Perry (R-PA) and Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) and receiving a briefing on the site’s future from Philly Shipyard CEO Steinar Nerbovik.

“I was proud to join Congressmen Perry and Smucker to express our joint support for obtaining work for the Philly Shipyard to bring new jobs to Pennsylvania,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick, whose office said the company plans to compete for a contract to build the new fleet of six maritime training ships for the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD). Selection of the new builder is expected this fall.

Currently, the fleet of MARAD training vessels being used by America’s six state maritime academies need replacements, according to the lawmaker’s office, which said “the ‘youngest’ is more than 30-years-old and the ‘oldest’ is more than 50-years-old.”

The new training ships, slated to include state-of-the-art design, propulsion and environmental protection capabilities, also will support disaster relief and humanitarian operations, according to Rep. Fitzpatrick’s office.

“Congressional support for Philly Shipyard has always been a bipartisan, regional effort with members from southeastern Pennsylvania, South Jersey and Delaware,” Rep. Fitzpatrick and his home-state colleagues said in a joint statement. “We are proud to be working with our colleagues and to do our part to bring these new jobs to Philadelphia.”

Philly Shipyard also has had a long-term workforce partnership with the Philadelphia Metal Trades Council, which represents 10 unions at the shipyard.