WASHINGTON, D.C - U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (MI) and Gary Peters (MI) Tuesday announced that the Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $2.7 million to the Great Lakes Boat Building School, in Cedarville, Michigan. Senators Stabenow and Peters helped secure these funds in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Recovery Assistance Grant program.
The Great Lakes Boat Building School (GLBBS) will use these funds to construct a 10,000-square-foot school expansion, build new boat-docking infrastructure, and purchase additional marine training equipment. This grant will be matched with $686,595 in funds raised and is expected to more than double the school’s annual graduation students to 50 students.
According to the Great Lakes Boating School, the associated economic impact will increase from $1 million to $2 million annually in Mackinac County based on additional students living in the Les Cheneaux Islands area for training. Additionally, the increase in students will be accompanied by growth in staff and in local purchases for supplies and equipment. There will be an additional positive economic ripple effect with the initiation of a $3.8 million construction project in the Eastern U.P.
"Michigan has a rich maritime history," said Senator Stabenow. "This funding will boost economic development in the Upper Peninsula and allow the Great Lakes Boat Building School to continue their important work of preparing the next generation of marine industry professionals.”
“The Great Lakes Boat Building School continues to bolster Michigan’s maritime workforce by providing first-rate, on-the-job training to prepare students for careers as marine service technicians, carpenters, and craftsmen,” said Senator Peters. “I was pleased to have helped pass the CARES Act, which continues supporting Michigan’s economic recovery. This support will help expand on-site testing equipment and more than double the school’s training capacity, spurring further investment in the community and creating good-paying jobs for Michiganders.”
“We want to thank Senators Stabenow and Peters for their support and advocacy of our school and this expansion project,” said Nikki Storey, President of Great Lakes Boat Building School. “By expanding our instructional infrastructure and thereby more than doubling our annual graduation capacity, this is a significant step in addressing the distressing workforce shortage in the Great Lakes Marine Industry and beyond.”
Great Lakes Boat Building School continues to produce qualified students from their Comprehensive Career Boat Building Program and the Marine Service Technology Program (MST), in partnership with Mercury Marine University, with a consistent 100% placement rate. Great Lakes Boat Building School is a non-profit organization recognized as a charitable organization and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.
More information about the CARES Act Recovery Assistance Grant program can be found at https://eda.gov/cares/.