Award will be used to help fund cleanup work for new facility
MADISON, WI. Sept. 1, 2016 – The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has awarded a $500,000 Brownfields Grant to the Marinette County Association for Business and Industry to help fund site cleanup work for the new Wisconsin Maritime Center of Excellence.
The grant will be used for environmental work that will take place on the 2.2- acre site in Marinette that will be home to a facility that will support and strengthen the state’s maritime and shipbuilding industry.
The 23,000-square-foot building, expected to open in 2017, will serve as a training, educational, research and entrepreneurship center that is expected to help fuel commercial collaboration and supplier development for the shipbuilding industry.
The center, located adjacent to Fincantieri Marinette Marine, will include an industrial incubator and space for U.S. Naval personnel assigned to the company’s Littoral Combat Ship building program. One of the center’s key objectives will be to support the Navy’s commitment to building the LCS in Marinette through 2022 and beyond.
Nearly one of every three workers in Marinette County is employed in the manufacturing sector, and many of those positions are tied to the maritime/shipbuilding industry.
“The business and industrial incubator will be an ongoing source of economic growth as businesses are created, add jobs and grow, eventually leaving the incubator for their own facility,” said Ann Hartnell, executive director of MCABI. “The supply chain support for Fincantieri Marinette Marine and other manufacturers in Marinette County will strengthen all the industries and the shipbuilding cluster in northeast Wisconsin. This is economic development at its best.”
“Northeastern Wisconsin has a strong legacy in the shipbuilding industry, and the Maritime Center of Excellence will play an important role in ensuring that legacy remains for generations to come,” said Mark Hogan, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “WEDC is pleased to be part of this coalition of public and private partners who have worked for years to make the center a reality.”
“I am proud that the Maritime Center of Excellence in Marinette has been selected to receive this grant,” said state Rep. John Nygren, whose district will be home to the center. “As the U.S. Navy continues to contract with Marinette Marine to build Littoral Combat Ships, the Maritime Center for Excellence will further fortify northeastern Wisconsin’s commitment to the shipbuilding industry – an industry that has been beneficial to the economy and the hardworking individuals in my community.”
WEDC’s Brownfields Grant Program provides funding to assist local governments, businesses and individuals with assessing and remediating the environmental contamination of an abandoned, idle or underused industrial or commercial facility or site.
The site that will be home to the center has been vacant for more than 50 years, and tests have determined that part of the property is environmentally contaminated. Most of the WEDC grant money will be used to remove and dispose of contaminated soil.
In 2013, the Wisconsin Building Commission approved the release of $5 million for the center of excellence.
About the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing and maximizing opportunities in Wisconsin for businesses, communities and people to thrive in a globally competitive economy. Working with more than 600 regional and local partners, WEDC develops and delivers solutions representative of a highly responsive and coordinated economic development network. Visit www.inwisconsin.com or follow WEDC on Twitter @_InWisconsin to learn more.