WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Ben Cardin, D-Md., today introduced the Maritime Technological Advancement Act. The legislation would establish a grant program to develop, offer, or improve educational or career training programs for American workers in the maritime workforce.
“A qualified maritime workforce is essential for our national security and economic prosperity,” said Wicker. “However, there is currently a shortage of licensed workers with the appropriate training and technical skills to meet the needs of this growing industry. Our proposal would support community and technical colleges in developing a capable workforce to address operations at sea and ashore, as well as in shipbuilding, port operations, and cybersecurity.”
“From the dedicated public servants at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore that repair and rehabilitate our Coast Guard fleet, to the longshoremen and logistic personnel who transport billions of dollars of international cargo, Maryland’s maritime industries surrounding the Port of Baltimore are key components of the economic growth of our state,” said Cardin. “This legislation provides funding to strengthen our local institutions that have track records of success in developing the skilled maritime workforce necessary to maintain and strengthen this critical industry.”
The Maritime Technological Advancement Act would:
- Authorize the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration to provide funding for two-year public institutions of higher education to develop, offer, or improve educational or career training programs for workers related to the maritime workforce along the nation’s coasts, Mississippi River System, the Great Lakes, and other inland waterways;
- Support initiatives to expand an institution’s capacity to train the maritime workforce; and
- Authorize appropriations of $40 million annually for fiscal year 2022 through 2026.
Click here to read the bill.