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  • Writer's pictureASSA Staff

ASSA Presents The Honorable Thad Cochran Leadership Award to 
The Honorable John Garamendi

Washington, District of Columbia – February 18, 2020The American Shipbuilding Suppliers Association (ASSA) presented the 2020 Honorable Thad Cochran Leadership Award to The Honorable John Garamendi (CA-03) for his dedication and commitment to a robust American shipbuilding supplier industrial base. He was presented the award during the ASSA Annual Congressional Reception in D. C. by Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01), who was the 2017 recipient of the Award.

ASSA established this annual award to honor the leadership of the late Senator Cochran for his unwavering support to those large and small businesses that provide the technologies and components necessary to build Navy and Coast Guard ships, which are critical to U.S. national security. The Honorable Thad Cochran Leadership Award is given annually to a public servant, nominated by the ASSA membership. Congressman Garamendi is recognized by ASSA for his strong support for US shipbuilding supplier companies. “Whether it is for steel or USN ship components, he is unapologetically supportive of ‘Buy America’ requirements.” said George Williams, CEO. “It is incredibly important that the issues of shipbuilding and especially the supplier base are at the forefront in the minds of members of Congress,” said Wittman. “John Garamendi understands the value and the need for a strong supplier industrial base and for our U. S. Navy ships to be made in the United States.”

“If we are going to really have a robust shipbuilding industry, it has to be all the pieces and that is where ASSA comes in with your association,” said Garamendi. “You advocate, you tell us, and you don’t let us forget about the pieces of the puzzle or the pieces of the ships. Thank you so very much for this award. I am deeply honored.”

The Energizing American Shipbuilding Act of 2019 is one of Congressman Garamendi’s strongest acts to restore the U.S. shipbuilding industry. The bipartisan bill would require the construction of over fifty ships, create thousands of maritime-related jobs, and preserve the US manufacturing capabilities of critical U.S. shipbuilding suppliers. Congressman Garamendi sits on two of the most dynamic and productive committees in Congress: The House Armed Services Committee, which has the annual task of completing a massive authorization bill that sets policy for our armed forces; and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which sets policy and funding priorities for our nation's transportation systems. As a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, Congressman Garamendi has for the past six years been selected to reconcile differences between the House and Senate versions of the annual defense authorization bill during conference negotiations. He also serves as Chairman of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, which oversees over one-third of the Department of Defense's authorization--the largest of any Armed Services Subcommittee. On the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Congressman Garamendi has helped author a long-awaited five-year highway bill, four water resource development bills, and a rail reauthorization. He is also a member of four Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittees: Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, Water Resources and Environment, Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials, Economic Development, and Public Buildings and Emergency Management. In these capacities, he advances his "Make It In America" agenda to create new middle-class jobs and rebuild our nation's crumbling infrastructure using American materials and workers.

John Garamendi joined the U.S. House of Representatives on November 5, 2009. He brings nearly four decades of public service to the House Armed Services and Transportation & Infrastructure committees. He has been a tireless proponent of job creation, quality and affordable health care, education, environmental protection, and scientific research. Very early into his Congressional career, Congressman Garamendi sponsored H.R.613 - Airports, Highways, High-Speed Rail, Trains, and Transit: Make it in America Act, and he has been a strong advocate for U.S. manufacturing ever since. In announcing this bill he stated, “America is a beacon of hope, a global powerhouse and the land of opportunity. We must rebuild our once robust manufacturing sector, repower our factories and assembly lines, hire the working men and women of this great nation, and restore America’s once prospering middle class.”

“His dedication to public service has been evident since his early days as a member of the Peace Corps,” said Chris Cikanovich, Chairman of ASSA. “This dedication to public service remains evident in his work today, through initiatives in support of U.S. citizens and companies such as U.S. shipbuilding suppliers.”


ASSA is a member driven, national organization, advocating for the American Shipbuilding Supplier Base to the U. S. Congress, Navy, Coast Guard and shipbuilders to ensure the long term stability of the U. S. national maritime industry.

Media Contact: Tish Williams, American Shipbuilding Suppliers Association – 228-216-9048 or

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