CLEVELAND — Thousands of jobs may soon be coming to two Northeast Ohio communities as part of a plan to address a shortage of naval shipyards across the nation.
Bartlett Maritime Corporation is seeking to build a submarine dry dock for the U.S. Navy in Lorain and a naval equipment depot in Lordstown. According to The Bartlett Maritime Plan™, 2,000-3,000 new jobs would be created in Lorain, with an additional 500-1,000 in Lordstown.
The project is being led by Bartlett Maritime Corporation CEO and former Navy captain Edward Bartlett, who served as a submariner and also a submarine design engineer. He founded the company in 2019 as a response to a shortage of dry docks and shipyards in the Navy.
Last month, Bartlett told 3News' NBC sister station 21 WFMJ that Lordstown would become "the Navy's centralized equipment depot for the nuclear powered fleet aircraft carriers and submarines." The proposed American Naval Shipyard in Lorain would bring the total number of certified naval dry docks to 20.
Bartlett believes Ohio is the ideal place for the facilities to be built due to the state's available industrial revenue bond program, which would fund the multi-billion dollar cost via a 3-way public-private partnership.
Response to the proposal has been enthusiastic. On Monday, Lorain City Council passed a resolution in support of the dry dock. Last month, the Metal Trades Department (MTD) of the AFL-CIO, which has represented the vast majority of shipyard skilled trades personnel in the United States since 1908, signed a cooperation agreement with Bartlett Maritime Corporation.
“The Metal Trades Department and its affiliated international unions are proud to join Bartlett Maritime in its efforts to become the next public-private U.S. Navy maintenance and repair shipyard," said MTD President James Hart. "We look forward to this partnership and the impact it will have on creating and sustaining good, unionized jobs in Ohio."
The proposal is currently being reviewed by the United States Navy. Phase 1 of the plan calls for a six-month research, planning, and concept demonstration. It could be completed by the end of the summer.
Bartlett told 3News that the hope is for ceremonial groundbreaking for both facilities to take place in October, with heavy construction to start at both locations in the early spring of 2023.
In the meantime, Bartlett is planning to hold a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington on March 9th. The briefing, called “Resolving the Submarine Maintenance Crisis: Restoring National Security," will include Lorain Mayor Jack Bradley, Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill, company executives, the AFL-CIO, and others.
You can read The Bartlett Maritime Plan™ below.