Texas commission awards mariner training funds to San Jacinto College

The following is text of a news release from San Jacinto College:

(PASADENA, Texas) — The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) recently awarded $382,548 to San Jacinto College to train new mariners and promote current mariners for 211 jobs in the industry. 

Maritime companies requested the Texas Workforce Commission Maritime IV Consortium Grant to fund training to meet new U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) regulations, upgrade training for incumbent workers and newly hired employees, and to enhance the safety culture.

Company partners on the TWC grant include AET Offshore Services Inc., Buffalo Marine Service Inc., G&H Towing Co., Harley Marine Services Inc., Higman Barge Lines Inc., J.A.M. Distributing, Marine Division and Martin Marine. The companies are able to use funds from the TWC Skills Development Fund to send their mariners to the San Jacinto College Maritime Technology and Training Center on the maritime campus for Coast Guard-approved training courses.

“These companies are making investments, understanding that the skills mariners receive will support them as they remain with these companies and earn great wages,” said Andres Alcantar, TWC chairman. “We invest a lot of effort in building these types of partnerships, all of which are industry aligned. I’m really proud of our partnership with community colleges here in Texas. At the TWC, they are central to our success.”

Janis Anderson, training administrator with the Kirby Corp. and who worked with Higman Barge Lines for 13 years, said the TWC grants have been important to ensuring current mariners receive the training courses needed to keep the pipeline open for new mariners. Higman Barge Lines was recently purchased by the Kirby Corp. However, Anderson said Higman is currently the grant partner for mariner training until July 2018 with Kirby Corp. considering becoming a grant partner in the future.

“This grant is wonderful with helping mariners progress in their careers,” said Anderson. “We like to hire people from entry level and move them up as far as they can from deck hand to the wheelhouse, and that’s excellent.” 

San Jacinto College maritime offers more than 80 USCG-approved courses and has awarded more than 5,500 USCG-approved course completion certificates since it began in 2010. The college is also home to the state’s first associate degree program in maritime transportation to train those who are new to the maritime industry. 

“These funds are really critical for maritime, and this grant helps us bring more talent into the industry by training mariners on the latest technology and regulatory changes and enhanced safety curriculum right here at our maritime center along the Gulf Coast,” said John Stauffer, associate vice chancellor and superintendent of maritime at San Jacinto College.

By Professional Mariner Staff