The Maritime Administration (MARAD) was pleased to participate in the National Maritime Workforce Conference held in Texas earlier this month.
The conference brought together representatives from academia and industry professionals from across the country to focus on how to enhance and expand maritime, marine technology and port management workforce training at 2-year colleges. Representatives from technical and community colleges participated with MARAD alongside state maritime academies, universities, shipyards, port authorities and other maritime industry partners.
MARAD staff reported on the status of the United States Merchant Marine as well as offering an update on the latest news from the Maritime Administration. They also encouraged interested stakeholders to submit their comments on the docket in response to the Request for Comments on the Centers of Excellence for Domestic Maritime Workforce Training and Education (CoE) application process, which was recently published in the Federal Register. MARAD is seeking comment on the proposed applicant guide; and, after review of the comments received, will publish a further Federal Register notice setting out the application process and requesting submission of applications for designation as a CoE.
The CoE designation program was established by the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Qualified training institutions seeking to be designated as a CoE will be required to apply to MARAD. MARAD may then enter into a cooperative agreement with a designated CoE to provide federal support, as outlined in the Federal Register notice, for the CoE’s maritime workforce training and education efforts. These training and education programs will open up greater career opportunities in the United States’ maritime industry, including providing opportunities for academic credit for prior military service or other related experience.
The conference further included panel discussions on innovative workforce programs and how colleges can align themselves with the maritime industry.
Please visit www.marad.dot.gov for further information on the work of the Maritime Administration and how it is supporting improvements to workforce training across the maritime industry in the United States.
(Alaska had a delegation of ten in attendance representing the University of Alaska, Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development Alaska Vocational Technical Center, Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium, and Vigor Alaska.)