Tim Scheib is in his element, barging through puddles separating the production buildings of Brownsville Marine Products and eagerly pointing out where $14 million is being invested to improve the efficiency of the Monongahela River plant.
A bracing breeze off the river cannot dampen the enthusiasm of Mr. Scheib, who holds degrees from the U.S. Naval Academy and Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is president of theBrownsvillebarge maker. Once the project is completed in April, Brownsville Marine will be able to launch a 200-foot-by-35-foot, 340-ton barge every two days.
With nearly 90 percent of the company’s capacity booked through 2014, Mr. Scheib said his biggest concern is being able to find the workers needed to supplement the 307 employees working three shifts a day, five days a week.
Brownsville Marine Products, LLC, on the Monongahela River in Fayette County, is one of 13 small shipyards in the United States to receive a grant from the U.S. Maritime Administrations Small Shipyards Grants Program.
Brownsville Marine Products began operations in 2006 and is located in the former Hillman Barge facility in the Borough of Brownsville. Brownsville Marine Products provides skilled jobs and tax revenue for the struggling community. An $877,940.25 grant was received for an Automated Blast and Coat System. Barge building has always played an important role in Brownsville’s economy.
“Our goal was to select locations throughout the county that were convenient to our county residents,” said Bob Junk, local economy manager at Fay-Penn, at an earlier date. “We hope that they will visit each market at least once during the season as each market will be different with unique offerings.”
The family friendly farmers markets bring in local sellers who offer fresh, backyard garden produce and flowers, locally made baked goods, meat and dairy from small, sustainable farms, live music and crafts for kids of all ages.