WASHINGTON — The company seeking to address a shortage of naval shipyards across the nation by building facilities in two Northeast Ohio communities took its case to Washington D.C. on Wednesday.
Bartlett Maritime Corporation hosted a panel discussion and press conference at the National Press Club entitled, “Resolving the Submarine Maintenance Crisis: Restoring National Security."
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.
Lordstown, OH, Mayor Arno Hill and Lorain, OH, Mayor Jack Bradley each discussed what these projects will mean to their communities.
You can watch the National Press Club event in the player below:
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.
"Unfortunately due to factory closures, steel plants, shipyards, auto plants along the north coast of Lake Erie, we have an abundance of available people," Bartlett said during Wednesday's event. "We've been public with this for 6 weeks, my inbox is full of people saying when can I apply for a job, when can I come work for you? There is an abundant pool of people ready and willing to work hard."
Earlier this year, 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. Lorain City Council passed a resolution in support of the dry dock. Previously, 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 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. He said on Wednesday that the hope is for the Lordstown depot to be completed within two years of groundbreaking, with the Lorain shipyard to have a 3-4 year timeframe from groundbreaking to completion.
You can read The Bartlett Maritime Plan™ below.