EDC launches seafarer training initiative for island workers


EDC launches seafarer training initiative for island workers

In response to the critical shortage of shipping and ferry workers and the continued need for well-paying careers for Islanders, EDC has launched a Seafarer Training Initiative.

Workers looking for a new career are invited to EDC’s new Maritime Workforce Development program. First, on January 29, 2022, EDC will be offering a one-day workshop – Getting Started in Maritime Careers – at Seafarers Worldwide in Anacortes. The workshop will cover career options and paths while providing hands-on experience in skills expected of sailors, such as ropes, life rafts and firefighting.

Participants who successfully complete the workshop can then apply for mentoring and financial support to cover the costs of obtaining their Merchant Seaman Ordinary Seaman (MMC) designation. EDC will pay for successful applicants’ TWIC and MMC card applications, as well as Coast Guard drug and physical testing, and will assist applicants through the process.

To register, please visit EDC’s website at www.sanjuansedc.org/trades. For more information, email the EDC Trades Coordinator at [email protected]

Applicants must be 18 years of age or older and reside in San Juan County. Space is limited and likely to fill up quickly. There is a $20 fee to register for the workshop. The number of awards will depend on available funds, and EDC gratefully invites donors to support the program; please visit www.sanjuansedc.org/mariner for more information.

This program aims to help create the workforce that islanders depend on for transportation. Ferry cancellations and delays highlight the community’s reliance on a robust maritime workforce, and MMC Ordinary Seaman is a requirement for applicants for ferry crew positions. Ferry and other maritime careers are good careers with many opportunities; however, obtaining the MMC is a complex and expensive process. EDC’s program aims to reduce this barrier.

This program is made possible through the generosity of private donors and grants from the Harvest Foundation, San Juan County, City of Friday Harbor, Port of Friday Harbor, The Raynier Institute and Foundation and other funders of EDC’s skills training initiative. and our Adopt a Future Sailor program. EDC gives special thanks to the Boden, Corbin, Levinson, Madsen and VanHyning families, as well as the many other individual donors whose support has been essential to the launch of the training programs in 2021 and 2022.

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