Port, Government Officials Visit Bayonne Dry Dock
Bayonne Dry Dock and Repair Corporation President Michael Cranston held a press conference on Tuesday, May 8, 2012, on the top side of Bayonne Dry Dock, to highlight the economic and environmental punch of the dry docking business on the Port of New York and New Jersey and its positive impacts on homeland security.
Following the press conference, Cranston led a tour of the facility where the U.S.N.S. Watson, a military ship that carries supplies to troops overseas, is currently undergoing repairs.
Attending the press conference and tour were Port Authority of New York & New Jersey Executive Director Patrick Foye, Michael Van Wagner, Acting Executive Director - Business Action Center, Office of Governor Christie, Al Coutinho, Assemblyman for NJ Legislative District 29 and Chair - Commerce and Economic Development Committee, Tom Bracken, President – New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, Maria Nieves, President and CEO - Hudson County Chamber of Commerce, Elizabeth (Bette) Spinelli, Executive Director - Hudson County Development Corporation, Jerry Keenan, Executive Vice President - NJ Alliance for Action along with employees of Bayonne Dry Dock and members of the community.
“Bayonne Dry Dock and Repair Corporation is proud of the contributions we are making to the working waterfront of the New York Harbor,” said Michael Cranston, President of Bayonne Dry Dock and Repair Corporation. “We offer a diverse workforce ready to serve the needs of both commercial and government entities on a 24 hour basis.”
The Military Ocean Terminal at Bayonne (MOTBY) served as a U.S. Army Base for about 50 years beginning in 1942 before being closed in the mid-1990s during a nationwide base realignment. In 1996, the city of Bayonne agreed to take over ownership of the site with a two-year phased transition. In 1997, Bayonne Dry Dock and Repair Corporation took over the lease of the dry dock. And recently in August 2010, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey acquired 130 acres or approximately half of the MOTBY property, including the dry dock.
Since 1997, Bayonne Dry Dock and Repair Corporation has employed a local, skilled workforce with an average of four to eight years of experience and with a low turnover rate of just 3.8 percent between January 2009 and March 2012. In addition, approximately 97 percent of the Bayonne Dry Dock workforce are experienced minority workers who live locally in the surrounding area.
“As our maritime business grows and prospers, it has a ripple effect on the private sector businesses that rely heavily on it,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. “At a time when men and women are in need of work, this firm is a major contributor of the port’s success, employing 180 people, many of them union workers, and minorities who come from the local communities that surround the facility. That’s the type of model we want to see duplicated around the port community.”Bayonne Dry Dock is a prime example of how business is booming at the Port. The facility is currently booked through October and was recently awarded the dry dock and overhaul of the Cape Washington, a maritime administration vessel owned by the U.S. Government. The facility typically repairs three to four military vessels per year, averaging 90 days per repair.
In addition to continued investment from government officials in the New York Harbor, which helps create new jobs, the Port of New York and New Jersey is the largest on the East Coast and third largest in the United States, handling nearly 40 percent of the East Coast shipping trade, providing more than 279,000 local jobs throughout the Port and bringing in $12 billion in wages annually. As local, state and federal governments do more with less and with the number of cargo ships in the Port expected to double by 2020, the Bayonne Dry Dock and Repair Corporation will play an even larger role in keeping commercial and government vessels in a state-of-good-repair.
The Bayonne Dry Dock and Repair Corporation is also a tenant of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, operating New York City’s largest dry dock within the facility operating under GMD Shipyard. The U.S.N.S. Watson is scheduled to depart Bayonne Dry Dock mid-July.