The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) is now taking applications for Centers of Excellence (CoE) designations for community or technical colleges and maritime training centers that prepare students for careers in the maritime industry.

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2018 provides the Secretary of Transportation with authority to designate eligible and qualified entities as CoEs, opening doors for the institutions to better collaborate with Department of Transportation and MARAD.

The voluntary program, which is administered by MARAD, focuses on utilizing existing training facilities to assist the maritime industry in gaining and sustaining a trained workforce. The program also supports the MARAD’s commitment to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility for students, faculty and staff in the maritime workforce.

MARAD announced the first designations in 2021 to 27 academic institutions located in sixteen states and Guam. The designations mean MARAD may now enter into cooperative agreements with the designated institutions to help advance recruitment of students and faculty, enhance facilities, award student credit for military service, and potentially receive assistance in the form of surplus equipment or temporary use of MARAD vessels.

“These Centers of Excellence are developing the next generation of the maritime workforce and improving training in the maritime industry,” said Maritime Administrator Ann Phillips.

Source: gCaptain