Bipartisan Domestic Maritime Centers of Excellence Act would address the critical need for trained workers in the maritime industry
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, introduced the Domestic Maritime Centers of Excellence Act to help address the critical need for trained workers in the maritime industry. The legislation would authorize the Maritime Administration (MARAD) to designate community and technical colleges with maritime training program as centers of excellence and allow the Administration to provide technical assistance and other support to these institutions as they train the domestic maritime workforce. The bipartisan measure passed the Senate Commerce Committee today as a part of the Maritime Administration Authorization and Enhancement Act for FY2018.
The full Senate will now consider the bipartisan legislation.
“It is an honor to represent a state with a long and proud maritime manufacturing tradition,” said Senator Baldwin. “I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation that will help ensure the future of our maritime workforce.”
“The North Coast Marine Manufacturing Allianceis pleased that the Domestic Maritime Centers of Excellence Act is moving forward,” said Ann Franz, Director of the North Coast Marine Manufacturing Alliance. “One of the most important needs for the maritime manufacturing industry is to have a skilled workforce and a supply chain that is accessible in a close proximity to marine builders. Investments in the North Coast marine builders, including Fincantieri Marinette Marine, will ensure it has the ability to build the high tech and high performing ships to keep the United States safe.”
“Northeast Wisconsin Technical College is located in the heart of the marine and maritime industry for the Great Lakes. We realize the growing need for experienced shipbuilding and maritime workers in Wisconsin,” said Dr. Jeff Rafn, President of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC). “We greatly appreciate Senator Baldwin’s leadership. The MARAD authorization bill designating Domestic Maritime Centers of Excellence is an opportunity to expand the development of the maritime and marine industry. We look forward to growth in this industry, and stand ready to work with maritime manufacturers to meet their workforce needs now and in the future.”
Baldwin originally introduced the bipartisan legislation with Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and John Kennedy (R-LA).