Conrad improvements will bring more jobs
By: JAMES A. ROBICHAUX
A grant of more than $1 million will do more than upgrade Conrad Shipyard’s Amelia facility.
The U.S. Department of Tranportation funding, first reported Tuesday, is intended to increase production and efficiency.
Terry Frickey, chief operating officer of Conrad Shipyard in Morgan City, said that the improvements to production and efficiency will also yield the additional benefits of improving safety and being able to hire more employees.
“We met the criteria that improved efficiency,” he said. “It affords us the opportunity for additional revenue. This will also help with our safety. We’ll be able to do more work on a fixed platform as opposed to the floating platform of the dry dock.”
Frickey also said that Conrad has about 500 employees now, and that the grant money will allow for the hiring of about 20 additional workers at the Amelia facility.
The U.S. Maritime Administration, also known as MARAD and an arm of the Department of Transportation, created the Small Shipyard Grants Program as an opportunity for shipyards to receive grant money based on merits of efficiency.
“This is the fourth year in a row that MARAD has done this,” Frickey said. “We were fortunate to have one of the top-rated projects this year.”