MTD IN THE NEWS | May 9, 2022

Ohio Marine Highway Jobs Rally Kicks Off Coast-to-Coast Tour to Rebuild America’s Maritime Industry

 President Hart opened the rally with a call to action to build 200 ships across the next three years, rebuild the marine highway, and create hundreds of thousands of new union jobs. Watch the Live Stream of the event on our website.

On May 2, kicking off what he calls “a coast-to-coast tour to rebuild America’s Maritime Highway,” Metal Trades Department President Jimmy Hart — joined by leaders of the Ohio AFL-CIO and Ohio Building Trades — hosted a rally calling for the creation of good-paying jobs that would enhance U.S. national security, alleviate the supply chain crises, and bring long-overdue economic relief to cities and villages like Lorain and Lordstown, Ohio. In his remarks, Hart urged the redevelopment and expansion of the marine highway throughout our country’s inland and coastal waterways to accomplish these goals.

The rally was held to encourage the United States Navy, the White House, and elected officials to embrace the Bartlett Maritime Plan. The plan will bring up to 2-3 thousand construction jobs and 4,000 permanent metal trades manufacturing and production jobs to Lorain and Lordstown. “There is a rebirth happening in Lorain,” said Hart. “It will not be completed until we create tens of thousands of jobs across the country.”

The Bartlett Maritime Plan includes the proposal of building a submarine service facility in Lorain and a component repair facility in Lordstown that will aid the U.S. Navy’s submarines. 

Hart told rally goers that they plan to build 200 ships across the next three years. The goals of the project also include re-building the marine highway and creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. 


“Union workers built this country and strengthened our national security. Ohioans in Lorain, Lordstown, and across the state are ready now to do our part by expanding and improving our Naval shipyard performance,” said Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga. “Strategic investments in the Marine Highway are crucial to the Navy’s efficiencies, and readiness, and workers in Ohio and the Great Lakes region have what it takes to advance this mission,” Burga said.

Senator Sherrod Brown, Representative Tim Ryan, and Representative Marcy Kaptur took to the podium to express their support of the project and for working families in Ohio.

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown

“Ohio workers have the talent and the skills to ensure we have a modern Navy, stronger than any in the world,” said Brown. “They just need leaders who actually make them a priority. I’m going to keep working with Tim and Marcy and with Ohio workers and companies to press for military investment in Ohio – and for all investments that have the potential to create Ohio jobs.”


Representative Marcy Kaptur


Representative Tim Ryan

Congressman Ryan expressed the importance of bringing back shipping jobs to Ohio.

“There are no workforces better equipped than Lordstown and Lorain to carry out the needs of our nation’s submarine fleet,” said Congressman Ryan. “Time after time, Ohio workers have showed up to answer our nation’s greatest challenges. Now it’s time our government shows up for Ohio workers. I will continue to fight like hell to create these good-paying jobs in Ohio and give every working Ohioan economic freedom and a fair shot at the American Dream.”

The proposal plans to build upon Ohio’s previous history of supporting the U.S. Navy. 

“Ohio has always been home to key elements of America’s naval industrial base,” said Captain Edward Bartlett, USMM, and founder of Bartlett Maritime Corporation. “Every nuclear-powered ship in the U.S. Navy, for instance, features unique components and equipment that were designed and built in Ohio. The Bartlett Maritime Plan builds on Ohio’s long heritage of support for the U.S. Navy and leverages the state’s abundant resources and world-class union workforce to help the Navy address the national security challenges associated with both nuclear-powered ship maintenance and submarine construction.” 

Other attendees included leaders and workers from area unions, as well as representatives from Bartlett Maritime Corporation. Many elected officials and individuals running for office also showed their support.

The project also aims to make an impact in response to the current international problems happening in other countries.

“The AFL-CIO Maritime Highway & National Supply Chain Resurgence Initiative is a major element and dramatic response to the international challenges from Russia and China to our national security,” said Rear Admiral Robert Frick, USN (Ret). “The efforts and progress made to restore and rebuild America and renew our national shipping, roads and bridges is directly linked to the incorporation and ever-increasing reliance on the coastal and inland maritime highways.”

In March, Bartlett told 3News Ohio television, that they hope for a ceremonial groundbreaking for both facilities in October and for construction to start at both locations in early spring 2023. Bartlett believes the Lordstown depot would be completed within two years and the Lorain shipyard in 3-4 years.

“America is at an inflection point and it is almost impossible to overstate how important this point in time really is,” said Hart. “Our country must decide at this moment how we will manage our economic, national security and climate goals. It is time for tested, national leadership to step up and I’m here to let America know that a defining moment in American history begins here today in Lorain, Ohio.” 

Hart told exuberant rally goers that Metal Trades Maritime unions have a plan to build 200 or more Jones Act feeder vessels, tugs, and barges, that will create hundreds of thousands of maritime and related supply chain jobs needed to facilitate the building of the offshore wind industry, solve the debilitating supply chain crises, and rebuild the American merchant marine fleet over the next 3-5 years, thereby restoring the United States to prominence as a premier sea power.

Watch the Live Stream of the event on our website.