Every year the International Maritime Organization (IMO) celebrates World Maritime Day to focus attention on the importance of shipping safety, maritime security, the marine environment, and to emphasize a particular aspect of IMO's work. This year the focus was determined to be “Maritime Education and Training” by the IMO. As a result, the SOCP (Ship Operations Cooperative Program) collaborated with NAMEPA (North American Marine Environment Protection Association), and SOCP Member Organizations: SUNY Maritime College and MITAGS-PMI to develop a conference in support of World Maritime Day and to shine a light on North American maritime education and training efforts, while facilitating discussion for “Securing Maritime’s 21st Century Workforce”.
This highly successful three day event, held on October 5-7 at MITAGS-CCMIT, Linthicum Heights, Maryland, consisted of keynote speakers, plenary sessions and panel discussions on three (3) different tracks, which included maritime industry representatives, educators, and administrators.
The last conference to promote and support America’s maritime education was the 2008 Maritime and Intermodal Education for Primary and Secondary Schools in America conference, organized and sponsored by SOCP members. Since that time, maritime/marine schools have grown from 8 to over 45 across North America.
For over 20 years, SOCP members, with the support of the United States Maritime Administration (MARAD), has focused on maritime education and training to ensure a robust and sustainable pipeline of qualified and competent U.S. mariners. Over the years, the SOCP extended its efforts to support K-12 initiatives, led by SOCP member Dr. Art Sulzer. With his passion for teaching young people about the high skill and high wage career opportunities in the maritime industry, Art has been the beacon for K-12 efforts. Working with other members and partners, Dr. Sultzer formed the Maritime for Primary and Secondary Education Coalition (MPSEC) under the SOCP umbrella, to ensure the light is always shining on maritime primary and secondary education.
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