State Rep. Joel Kitchens has announced that the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee approved his motion requesting a $3.2 million grant from the Harbor Assistance Program for the harbor in Sturgeon Bay.

“The Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding Co. will be using this fund for the third phase of the harbor project, which will include the dredging and harbor construction,” Kitchens said in a statement. “Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding is the largest employer in Door County and has spent several years working on the harbor project. This funding will allow the public-private partnership between the city and one of its key business partners to go forward full speed ahead and continue their modernization of the harbor.”

The result will be opportunities for additional employment and a boost for industry in Sturgeon Bay and Northeast Wisconsin, Kitchens said.

Meanwhile, an amendment co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, increasing funding for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) Small Shipyard Grant Program, passed the House on Wednesday night.

The program awards federal grants to help small shipyards repair and modernize equipment, increase efficiencies and productivity, and compete in the global marketplace.

“I was proud to push this amendment through the House for the highly dedicated workers in the 8th District who play an important role in addressing our urgent national security, military and economic needs through our strong shipbuilding tradition,” Gallagher said in a statement. “Not only is the Small Shipyard Grant program vital to strengthening our ship building capacity, but also to making sure our local shipyards are able to invest in modern equipment and a high-skilled workforce that supports thousands of good-paying jobs in Northeast Wisconsin.”