Port of Corpus Christi presents check to Del Mar College Maritime Program -The News of San Patricio

DMC Corporate Services uses funds to purchase equipment and cover scholarships for first two cohorts; 22 students prepared for high-demand entry-level maritime jobs in June

During their monthly meeting, the Port of Corpus Christi Commission presented $25,000 in support of Del Mar College’s (DMC) new Maritime Program offered by its Workforce Programs and Corporate Services division. The funds cover scholarships and equipment used to train 22 individuals who participated during two classes offered in June covering maritime basic safety to train for high-demand entry-level jobs in the Coastal Bend.

“We are committed to responding to community needs,” said Wayne Squires, the commission’s vice-chair. “Del Mar College is industry’s choice to prepare our growing workforce needs.”

Of the Port’s support for the new program, Lenora Keas, DMC vice president of Workforce Development and Strategic Initiatives, responded, “The Port of Corpus Christi has been a critical partner alongside the Coast Guard to develop the Maritime Program and fulfill the College’s mission to build a highly skilled workforce.”

The Port’s funds cover scholarships and equipment purchases and rental with $15,000 deducted toward $500 scholarships and the remaining $10,000 toward equipment. The overall cost to take the course is $1,200 with Corporate Services providing full $1,200 scholarships using Port and other funds to cover the full fee for the first 14 students comprising the first cohort and $500 scholarships for the eight students who made up the second cohort.

Equipment purchases include life vests, immersion suits, fire extinguishers and materials needed to install two aircraft carrier watertight doors in the Public Safety Education Complex’s fire tower training facility. Additionally, funds covered rental of firefighting suits.

The program, which falls under the division’s Corporate Services, plans to expand over time and is helping meet the maritime industry’s need for entry-level workers by first offering its Maritime Basic Safety Training course. Workforce Programs and Corporate Services, in conjunction with San Jacinto College’s Maritime Technology and Training Center and the Southeast Maritime and Transportation Center, is working to establish a full training program that addresses multiple skills levels that local maritime employers seek. 

Approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, the safety training course is required of all mariners and is comprised of four disciplines, including Basic Fire Fighting, In-water Survival Training, Personal Safety and Social Responsibility and First Aid/CPR. 

With high demand in Corpus Christi and all along the Texas Gulf Coast for maritime employees, individuals completing the course can expect entry-level employment by a barge or tow company, a line-handling operation or a longshoreman/stevedore company. The expected pay range is $165 to $175 per day.

Corporate Services will offer the next Maritime Basic Safety Training course in early fall. To inquire about the program, contact Maritime Program Coordinator Jalyn Stineman at 361-698-2181 or  jstineman@delmar.edu.

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