February 26, 2021
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The U.S. Maritime Administration is now accepting applications from “eligible and qualified institutions” to apply for a Centers of Excellence or CoE designation, which recognizes and supports community or technical colleges and maritime training centers that prepare Americans for careers in the maritime industry.

[Above photo via the Port of Baltimore.]

The CoE Program is a voluntary program administered by MARAD to advance the recruitment and training of students and faculty, enhance facilities, award student credit for military service, create new maritime career pathways, enhance employer-led maritime training practices, and potentially receive assistance in the form of surplus equipment or temporary use of MARAD vessels.

Rear Admiral Mark “Buz” Buzby USN (Ret.)

“Exciting career opportunities lie ahead for those entering the maritime field, and many of those new entrants will serve our nation directly, advancing both our national security as well as our nation’s continued economic recovery,” said Rear Admiral Mark “Buz” Buzby USN (Ret.), MARAD’s administrator, in a statement.

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2018 provides the U.S. Secretary of Transportation with discretionary authority to designate eligible and qualified entities as CoEs. Meanwhile, MARAD said it has developed and published comprehensive agency guidance on applying for CoE designation and how it administers the CoE program, including eligibility requirements and selection criteria.

In related news, MARAD issued $220 million in discretionary grants on October 15 to improve port facilities in 15 states and territories through its Port Infrastructure Development Program, while also releasing a new marine highway module on October 8 for its Port Planning and Investment Toolkit, which helps U.S. ports plan, evaluate, and finance freight transportation projects.

editor@aashto.org

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