The U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration (MARAD) awarded $19.6 million to 24 shipyards in 19 states through the Small Shipyard Grant Program, with Moran Iron Works (MIW) of Onaway solely representing Michigan. The half-million dollar grant awarded to MIW will help modernize, increase productivity, and expand local employment opportunities while competing in the global marketplace. Specifically the grant will support the welding fabricator in the purchase of a CNC Fabricating System and Drill Line, enhancing automation of complex fabrications and drastically reducing production time.
The manufacturer received support from state government officials in obtaining the grant. Senator Gary Peters, Senator Debbie Stabinow, and U.S. Congressman Jack Bergman all petitioned for the Great Lakes State to receive the maritime federal dollars.
“Moran Iron Works is a fundamental asset for our region providing nearly 100 jobs for the hardworking men and women who call Northern Michigan home,” said Representative Jack Bergman.
Bergman continued, “This federal investment at [MIW] through the Small Shipyards Grant Program will help replace outdated equipment and help keep jobs right here in Michigan. Defense of our Nation relies heavily on the success of our shipyards, ports, and waterways. I‘m proud to continue to support these critical investments on the federal level.”
The new equipment along with current facilities gives MIW the ability to compete on a global scale. MIW owns a deep water port located on the shore of Lake Huron in Rogers City. Centrally located in the Great Lakes, the port provides space and equipment to facilitate vessel construction and repair services in addition to other various shipping activities for a range of ship sizes and types.
Founder and CEO of MIW, Tom Moran expressed, “The MARAD Award is a needed investment into one of the most important business sectors we have. Developing our marine capability is not only paramount to continuing employment for our team but critical to keeping the United States up to date in that manufacturing sector.
“It is common for a multi-million-dollar marine vessel to hover just a few percentage points between profit or loss and few business models can take on challenges like that and have profits left for improvement. We are proud to carry on the tradition of shipbuilding here in America.”
“This is very exciting for MIW!” added MIW Sales and Marketing Manager Lee Fayssoux. “Our marine division has grown into about 20% of our business model over the last 3-years and continues to grow annually. The addition of this new equipment will lead to more utilization of our Port as we continue to launch vessels & load barges with quality, Michigan-made products.”
MIW’s marine division specializes in custom boat and barge projects using flexibility to customize requirements and specifications. This along with a long history of innovative handling of normal and heavy cargo, logistics, cargo storage, and labor and machinery requirements for specialized cargo services provides for a uniquely efficient logistics experience.