Friday, May 5, 2017

Bill Introduced to Expand Maritime Training at Two-Year Colleges

By Mark Edward Nero

Two US assemblymen have introduced bipartisan legislation designed to advance the capabilities of two-year community and technical colleges to assist the federal government and industry in securing the talent pipeline for domestic maritime industry jobs.

The Domestic Maritime Centers of Excellence Act was introduced May 2 by Representatives Gene Green, D-TX, and Rob Wittman, R-VA.

“In our district, we have a surplus of maritime jobs and not enough people with the skills and training to fill them,” said Green. “This bipartisan legislation will help bridge the gap. It’s good for our local community, it’s good for our businesses, and it’s good for the American economy.”

“A well-trained, skilled maritime work force is critical for our nation’s economy and national security,” said Wittman. “Shipyards in Virginia and around the country will benefit from the injection of workers our new centers of excellence will provide.”

“I am pleased to introduce the Domestic Maritime Centers of Excellence Act with my colleagues to bolster our maritime industry, raise up our community and technical colleges, and empower students to find well-paying jobs in this critical sector of the American economy,” said Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Calif. “Strengthening this work force is essential to maintaining our nation’s goods movement system and vital to our national defense.”

“The recruitment and development of shipyard workers is critical to the future of the US shipbuilding and repair industry,” Matthew Paxton, president of the Shipbuilders Council of America said in a statement. “Empowering MarAd to recruit, train and develop the next generation of workers will provide a stable work force and ensure there is sufficient talent to build our commercial and military ships for decades to come.”

The full text of the legislation can be found at