Mr. Joe Couillard, technical manager, AET Offshore Services Inc.; Mr. Ryan Brown, training and operations, AET Offshore Services, Inc.; Captain Mitch Schacter, director, San Jacinto College Continuing & Professional Development maritime program; Dr. Sallie Kay Janes, vice president, San Jacinto College Continuing & Professional Development; Senator Mike Jackson, Texas District 11; Dr. Brenda Hellyer, Chancellor, San Jacinto College; Rep. John Davis, Texas District 129; Mr. Tom Pauken, Chairman, Texas Workforce Commission; Rep. Wayne Smith, Texas District 128; Mrs. Marie Flickinger, Chair, San Jacinto College Board of Trustees; Rep. Ken Legler, Texas District 144. Photo credit: Jeannie Peng-Armao, San Jacinto College marketing department.
TWC grant to aid San Jacinto College in training new and incumbent mariners
Jeannie Peng-Armao -- March 30, 2012
PASADENA, Texas — San Jacinto College (SJC) has received a $616,865 Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) grant to provide U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) approved curriculum to mariners from nine companies, in addition to those already in partnership with the College.
The TWC Skills Development Fund grant will assist in preparing anyone who intends to or who is already working aboard a U.S. vessel, from small tugboats to the largest oil tankers. The estimated number of new jobs that will result from the training is 140, with 343 to be upgraded thanks to the funding.
Industry partners included in the grant include American Commercial Lines Transportation Services LLC, AET Offshore Services, Inc., Diamond Offshore Management Company, Echo Towing Service, Inc., Fairfield Industries, Inc., Houston Pilots, Martin Resource Management Corporation, Southern States Offshore, Inc., and Transocean Offshore. An additional 20 companies already send their maritime crews to the College for their USCG approved training.
"This grant will allow us to continue to offer the courses that the maritime industry needs in order for mariners to maintain their vital job certifications," said Dr. Sarah Janes, vice president of the College's Continuing and Professional Development division. "We look forward to assisting these companies with their workforce training needs.”
The need for additional maritime training in the region is in anticipation of the completion of the $1.4 billion Bayport Terminal at the Port of Houston in 2014. That event, in addition to the expansion of the Panama Canal that same year, will increase the need for more maritime employees. The growth means both the number of workers will need to increase, and the skill levels of the current workers in deck jobs such as pilots, steersman, able seaman, deck hands, tankermen, and ship engineers must increase as well.
"TWC makes these grants available each year, helping hundreds of Texas employers and thousands of workers succeed,” said TWC Chairman Tom Pauken, who was at San Jacinto College for the check presentation to College administrators and maritime consortium members. “We take pride in the fact that we can continue to provide businesses a ready and skilled workforce.”
The TWC Skills Development Fund is aimed at job retention training and job creation by providing training dollars for Texas businesses and workers. Success is achieved through collaboration among businesses, public community and technical colleges, local workforce development boards, and economic development partners.
"This Skills Development Fund grant from the Texas Workforce Commission has been invaluable in helping Texas maritime companies rebuild, retrain, and rehire after the devastation of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico," said Mitch Schacter, director of the CPD maritime training program. "Without these grants, it may have taken years for our local maritime industry to be in a position to compete again in the Gulf States region. The Skills Development Fund is certainly one of the reasons that the State of Texas and Texas companies are as strong as they are in the national, even global, business environment."
Thanks to support from the Texas Workforce Commission, a $400,000 congressional appropriation, as well as local industry, San Jacinto College currently offers a maritime program that extends to all three campuses, including the SJC Maritime and Technical Training Center, located along Highway 225.
The College also announced this month the purchase of 13 waterfront acres along the Port of Houston to build a facility for maritime vessel operation training to prepare for the demands of the near future. Plans are underway for SJC to construct a maritime center that will house multiple classrooms, engineering labs, RADAR, Automatic Radar Positioning Aid (ARPA), Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS), Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), and advanced navigation labs together with the industry's newest interactive, full mission ship, towboat, and tugboat simulators. Completion of the maritime center, scheduled for late 2013, will allow the College to nearly double the number of USCG and Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) approved courses from 50 to 90.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The Achieving the Dream Leader College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in more than 200 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.
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TWC Chairman Tom Pauken signs the maritime consortium training grant check.