Fitzpatrick, Perry, and Smucker Vow to Fight for New Jobs at Philly Shipyard

Facility is Competing to Build New Fleet of Maritime Training Ships

June 6, 2019

Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) today toured the Philly Shipyard with Congressmen Scott Perry (PA-10) and Lloyd Smucker (PA-11). Fitzpatrick, Perry, and Smucker all pledged to redouble their efforts to help secure new federal shipbuilding work for Pennsylvania workers.

In addition to touring the facility, Fitzpatrick and his colleagues received a briefing on the future of the shipyard from Philly Shipyard CEO Steinar Nerbovik.

“The Philly Shipyard represents enormous economic opportunity for residents and enterprises in the Greater Philadelphia region,” said Fitzpatrick. “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.”

Philly Shipyard, one of America’s leading builders of commercial Jones Act ships, plans to compete for the opportunity to build the new fleet of six maritime training ships for the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD). 

For most of the last 20 years, Philly Shipyard has specialized in private sector ship construction – with 30 vessel deliveries, representing nearly 50% of all U.S. large commercial vessels built in the U.S. since 2003.  This new fleet of MARAD ships presents a new opportunity to bring Philly Shipyard’s track record of excellence to bear on behalf of the federal government and U.S. taxpayers.  

The fleet of MARAD training vessels currently used by America’s six state maritime academies are old and outdated – the “youngest” is more than 30 years old, and the “oldest” is more than 50 years old.  As a result, MARAD plans to replace the entire fleet of training ships with a fleet of six new National Security Multi-Mission Vessels.  These ships will perform training, support disaster relief and humanitarian operations, and will include state of the art design, propulsion, and environmental protection.  The selection of the yard to build these ships is expected in the fall of this year.

“This work will secure the future of Philly Shipyard,” said Nerbovik.  “Imagine this great facility back to full capacity, with more than 1,200 workers on the job making state of the art ships for the U.S. government.  It will be an engine of growth for the entire region.”

“Congressional support for Philly Shipyard has always been a bi-partisan, regional effort with Members from southeastern Pennsylvania, south Jersey and Delaware,” said Fitzpatrick, Perry, and Smucker 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 has formed a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship with its workforce through a successful partnership with the Philadelphia Metal Trades Council (PMTC), which represents ten unions at the shipyard.  Lou Agre, PMTC President, was present at the meeting with the Congressmen and spoke of the importance of this new shipbuilding work to the local work force.