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Maritime Administration Announces Centers of Excellence Designations for Domestic Maritime Workforce Training and Education

Maritime Administration Announces Centers of Excellence Designations for Domestic Maritime Workforce Training and Education

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During late February 2024, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced the designation of 32 Centers of Excellence (CoE) for Domestic Maritime Workforce Training and Education. The designated COEs consist of 50 maritime training locations across 17 states and Guam. The designation recognizes and promotes support to post-secondary maritime training programs that prepare students for careers in the maritime industry. 

Section 51706 of title 46 United States Code authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to designate a domestic maritime workforce training and education entity as a “center of excellence” if such entity, among other things, is demonstrably successful in maritime workforce training and education.

“Our Centers of Excellence designations recognize the high standards of maritime education and training provided by these organizations,” said Maritime Administrator Ann Phillips. “These institutions play a critical role in providing domestic mariners with the expertise needed to best serve the maritime industry.” 

MARAD published a solicitation for applications in the Federal Register on July 20, 2023, for eligible and qualified training entities, under the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act. The approved entities include thirty-eight postsecondary educational institutions; one postsecondary vocational institution; four non-profit structured experiential training programs; four registered apprenticeship sponsors; three maritime training centers; and four organizations containing a combination of the above-mentioned entities.

For additional information, a full list of designees, and a searchable interactive map identifying designee locations please visit the Centers of Excellence homepage

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) developed the CoE Program to support maritime workforce training and education at designated CoEs, including efforts of the designees to admit additional students; recruit and train faculty; expand facilities; create new maritime pathways; and award students credit for prior experience, including military service.

MARAD developed a policy to provide interested parties with comprehensive agency guidance on how best to apply for CoE designation. During application acceptance periods, MARAD will review and consider all applications it receives and may contact applicants with questions to assist in reviewing their applications.  The CoE Program is a voluntary program and, therefore, any eligible and qualified training entity is free to decide whether it wishes to participate in the program and apply for a CoE designation. 

The inaugural CoE designees were announced on May 19, 2021. The 2024 designees were announced on February 22, 2024.

Discover more detailed information on each of the current CoE designees through MARAD’s 2024 CoE Interactive Map.

Who Are The Maritime Centers of Excellence?

The 2024 Maritime Center of Excellence designees consist of 50 maritime training locations in 44 cities across 17 states and Guam.

The complete list of the 2024 Center of Excellence designees follows:  

Alaska Maritime Education Consortium includes six academic institutions: 
•    Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTEC), Seward, AK; 
•    University of Alaska Fairbanks, Bristol Bay Campus, Dillingham, AK; 
•    University of Alaska Anchorage, Kodiak College, Kodiak, AK;
•    University of Alaska Anchorage, Kenai Peninsula College at Kachemak Bay Campus, Homer, AK; 
•    University of Alaska Anchorage, Prince William Sound College, Valdez, AK, and 
•    University of Alaska Southeast at Ketchikan, Ketchikan, AK. 

•    Long Beach Community College in Long Beach, CA.
•    MiraCosta Community College in Oceanside, CA.
•    Orange Coast College in Newport Beach, CA.

•    Star Center in Dania Beach, FL. 
•    College of the Florida Keys in Key West, FL.

•    West Kentucky Community and Technical College in Paducah, Kentucky.

•    Delgado Community College in New Orleans, LA.

•    Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, MD. 
•    Calhoon MEBA Engineering School in Easton, MD.
•    Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS) in Linthicum Heights, MD. (additional location in Washington state)
•    Community College of Baltimore County in Baltimore, MD.
•    Seafarers Harry Lundenberg School of Seamanship in Piney Point, MD


Minnesota State Domestic Maritime Workforce Consortium (MSDMWC) includes three institutions:
•    Lake Superior College, Duluth, MN
•    St. Paul College, St. Paul, MN and
•    Minnesota State College Southeast, Winona, MN

•    Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Perkinston, MS.
•    Hinds Community College in Raymond, MS.

•    Carteret Community College in Morehead City, NC.
•    Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, NC.

•    Clatsop Community College in Astoria, OR.

Pacific Northwest Maritime Industries Education Alliance (PAC Maritime) member: 
•    Portland Community College in Portland, OR.

•    Delaware County Community College in Media, PA.

•    Community College of Rhode Island in Warwick, RI.

•    Trident Technical College in North Charleston, SC.

•    San Jacinto College District (SJCD) in Pasadena, TX.

Hampton Roads Maritime Industries Education Alliance (HRMIEA) consists of two members:
•    Maritime Institute in Norfolk, VA
•    Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA

Tidewater Community College (TCC), with three campuses:
•    Chesapeake Campus, Chesapeake, VA
•    Portsmouth Campus, Portsmouth, VA and
•    Virginia Beach Campus, Virginia Beach, VA

•    Divers Institute of Technology in Seattle, WA. 
•    Flagship Maritime LLC in Tacoma, WA.
•    Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS), Seattle, WA. (additional location in Maryland), 
•    Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building in Port Hadlock. WA, and 

Pacific Northwest Maritime Industries Education Alliance (PAC Maritime) consists of eight members (7 in WA and 1 in OR):
•    Skagit Valley Community College, Mount Vernon, WA.
•    North Seattle College, Seattle WA.
•    Seattle Central College, Seattle, WA
•    South Seattle College, Seattle, WA
•    Crawford Nautical Training, Seattle, WA
•    Peninsula College, Port Angeles, WA
•    Clark College located in Vancouver, WA

•    Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, WI

•    Cabras Marine Corporation in Piti, GU
•    Guam Shipyard (GSY) in Tamuning, GU. 


Maritime Administration Releases Five-Year Strategic Plan Focused on Mariner Recruitment, Training, and Retention

On March 1, 2024, MARAD released its Mariner Workforce Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2023–2027 on February 26. This strategic plan outlines six key goals to grow our Nation’s mariner workforce through recruitment, training, and retention for the next five years. The plan also addresses demonstration and research priorities that could be implemented to further improve mariner recruitment, training, and retention.

MARAD included input from government, industry, maritime academia and training, maritime labor, other stakeholders, and the public to develop this strategic plan. It also recognizes the progress made by MARAD and other organizations to recruit, train, retain, and reduce barriers to address mariner workforce development over the last five years. The document reflects a 21st century outlook geared toward MARAD’s mission to foster, promote, and develop the maritime industry of the United States to meet the Nation’s economic and security needs.

The Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2023–2027 can be viewed here.

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