SMART releases maritime career awareness videos

The following is the text of a news release from the Southeast Maritime and Transportation (SMART) Center:

(VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.) — The SMART Center has released the first two videos in a new series to increase awareness about career opportunities in the maritime and transportation industry.

"The maritime and transportation industry needs thousands of new workers in the next 5-10 years in the shipbuilding and ship repair segment alone," said SMART Center Executive Director and PI Barbara Murray. "Sixty percent of maritime workers are over the age of 50 and less than 1% is younger than 25 years old. A huge knowledge transfer is necessary from retiring workers to today's students, re-careering workers, and retiring veterans looking for an industry that provides rewarding, well-paying, and stable careers."

One of the two videos features Al Modine, a registered apprentice with BAE Systems Ship Repair in Portsmouth, Virginia. Modine, who has a degree in counseling from Longwood College and served a tour in Iraq with the National Guard says he "prides himself on still helping the military by building Naval ships." BAE Systems Apprentice Director Alan Walker points out that like other apprentices, Modine can "make up to $160,000 over 4 years" while working at the shipyard. In addition BAE pays tuition for apprentices to earn stackable 2-year college certificates and ultimately an A.A.S. in Maritime Technologies from SMART Center host partner Tidewater Community College.

   "We're creating these videos largely in response to the feedback we've received from educators, career coaches, guidance counselors who are helping students evaluate and navigate career pathways," said Murray. The videos are featured on the SMART Center website and will be available on DVD for educators to use with students. In addition the SMART Center has created several visual career pathway tools to help people understand how they can enter the maritime and transportation industry and then rise to higher levels of responsibility and pay.  

If you are an educator and would like to discuss how the SMART Center can provide you with information, tools, and resources to educate your students, email

By Professional Mariner Staff