Industry group promoting maritime education programs

A conference to promote maritime education in primary and secondary schools will be held April 1-2 at the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies in Linthicum, Md.

Titled “Onboard to a Future Career,” the conference will be presented by the Ship Operations Cooperative Program. The conference’s chairman, Capt. Arthur H. Sulzer, said that the event aims to increase awareness among educators of the maritime career opportunities available to their students and to lay the groundwork for expansion and strengthening of maritime education programs. The U.S. Maritime Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard and the maritime industry are all helping to support the effort.

In 2001, the Maritime Administration addressed the shortage of American mariners and the need for new recruits in a conference co-sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard. That conference discussed the role education could play to counter the general lack of awareness of the maritime industry and our national maritime heritage. According to Sulzer, since then “the seeds (of maritime education) have been sown and taken root.” New maritime education institutions and programs have sprung up and introduced both primary and secondary students to a wide range of maritime careers.

“Onboard to a Future Career” hopes to strengthen current maritime education programs in the primary and secondary school by bringing together primary and secondary school educators, administrators, employers, training institutions, government agencies, unions, vendors of education material and higher education institutions.

By Professional Mariner Staff