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.)
ANCHORAGE, AK—The University of Alaska’s community and technical colleges and campuses celebrated National Maritime Day on May 22, a tradition dating back to 1933 that recognizes one of Alaska and the United States’ most important industries. This year, National Maritime Day coincided with UA’s efforts to obtain a Domestic Maritime Center of Excellence designation, a distinction that would expand its capacity to train domestic maritime workers.
President Donald Trump signed legislation authorizing designation of community and technical college Domestic Maritime Centers of Excellence in December 2017. If chosen as a designee, UA could access federal funds towards admitting more students, training faculty and expanding maritime training facilities. This would provide a significant benefit to the university’s ability to increase student success and provide a skilled workforce for Alaska’s maritime industry, which supports more than 70,000 jobs and is the state’s largest private sector employer.
“I’m encouraged by the university’s prospects to receive this important designation,” said Fred Villa, associate vice president of workforce programs. “It’s a great opportunity for the university that would allow us to expand our already successful maritime training opportunities throughout the state.”
UA is well qualified to receive the designation, given its history of providing maritime training and the state of Alaska’s prominent maritime industry. UA has collaborated with maritime industry representatives, state agencies, and entities across the state since 2012 on the Fishing, Seafood and Maritime Initiative (FSMI) to assess, develop and deliver training programs, raise awareness and increase research to prepare Alaskans to meet current and emerging workforce, economic and scientific needs. Between 2014 and 2016, the number of maritime-related training classes in Alaska increased sharply with class completion rates growing by 171 percent.
Villa and a University of Alaska delegation will attend the Shared Quarters National Maritime Workforce Conference June 5-6 in Texas, where they hope to learn more about potentially receiving the designation and about opportunities to enhance and expand maritime, marine technology and port management workforce training.
The 2018 federal budget was passed and signed into law in late March. The omnibus bill calls for $65 million in base funding for Sea Grant and $11.5 million in directed funding for aquaculture. That’s an increase of $4 million over last year’s appropriation to Sea Grant.
“It is a testament to the high caliber of the work done by everyone in the Sea Grant network and the impacts we have had on our constituents,” said Jonathan Pennock, director, National Sea Grant College Program.
The White House had proposed eliminating all funding for Sea Grant earlier this year.
As the primary provider of the state’s skilled workforce, the University of Alaska is identifying more affordable ways to educate Alaskans. Alaskans often think of our state as a place where we can secure a good-paying job without higher education credentials or certifications, but that’s less and less often the case. By 2025, 65 percent of jobs in Alaska will require some post-secondary credential. Alaska’s economy is changing and so is its university.
We’re starting with the career and technical education opportunities available through the university for those looking for a job as a welder, a nurse aide, a corrections officer, to refine bookkeeping or basic carpentry skills or to fill other critical positions in Alaska communities. The University of Alaska’s occupational endorsement programs are specifically designed to provide these skill-building courses.
To make these training opportunities more accessible and affordable, beginning in fall 2018, the university will reduce tuition by 25 percent in selected occupational endorsement programs and career and technical education courses. The tuition reduction will apply to more than 300 courses in 50 programs at the University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Alaska Fairbanks, and University of Alaska Southeast, including community campuses. Open registration for fall 2018 began April 16 and continues throughout the summer. The reduced tuition is part of the university’s plan to meet Alaska’s workforce needs by growing enrollment and increasing degree completion.
Read the full article here. Learn more about the tuition reduction here.
The University of Alaska is now accepting applications for the President’s Teach for Alaska Scholarship. The scholarship is in its second year and is open to any incoming undergraduate student who plans to major in education at any University of Alaska campus.
“Teachers have an immeasurable impact on the lives of our young people and we want to help the career goals of an aspiring future educator,” said UA President Jim Johnsen. “The scholarship is an important component of our emphasis on teacher education.”
The importance of cultivating the next generation of educators was emphasized by the UA Board of Regents during its March meeting in formally naming the Alaska College of Education and adopting a new organizational structure that emphasizes collaboration between teacher education programs at all three universities. Next steps include selecting an executive dean to lead the college.
The newly formed Alaska College of Education, its leadership and the scholarship are all part of the university’s plan to increase the number of teachers it prepares for Alaska’s schools.
The academic scholarship will be awarded to one applicant who is enrolled as a first-time undergraduate student and who plans to pursue a four-year degree in education. The recipient will receive $1,500 each semester for four years to attend any University of Alaska campus.
Those interested must already have applied for admission to UA and must submit both a short video and short essay explaining why they plan to pursue a degree in teacher education or what they hope to accomplish as a teacher, along with two letters of recommendation. The scholarship deadline is May 1. For information on eligibility or to apply, visit www.alaska.edu/learntoteach.
The Teach for Alaska Scholarship is funded by the university’s Land Grant Trust Endowment, which allocates funding each year for the UA Scholars program and for discretionary scholarships awarded by the university president. The endowment receives revenue from property sales and resource development — timber, gravel, gas leases, and mining — conducted on Trust lands.