Page 51: of Maritime Logistics Professional Magazine (Q1 2016)

Maritime Training and Education

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on sea-time) and an able seafarer endorsement. Offshore Supply Industry and was very successful until the

Pietersom explains, “At that time, the median age of Deck downturn in the oil patch. She told MarPro in February, “We

Of? cers was early/mid ? fties and there was a very real concern have temporarily suspended enrollment, but are looking for- to ? ll the upcoming slots with capable, well trained mariners. ward to starting the next program when the oil Industry picks

The Workboat Academy has grown over the 10 years of its exis- back up again.” tence, but more importantly has gained the respect of companies and mariners.” That happened, in part, because of a different Apples & Oranges demographic of candidates being sought and catered to by the After 2002, it became more dif? cult for mariners to climb up

WBA. But, in the end, insists Pietersom, it was the method of the hawsepipe because of many reasons – regulatory changes bringing these students along that has made all the difference. and pressures not the least of them. At the same time, the me-

After the success of the pilot program and the ? rst full pro- dian age in industry had climbed to the mid-? fties. Pietersom gram of Workboat Academy-Seattle at Paci? c Maritime Insti- explains further, “There was a genuine concern, especially tute, the Workboat Academy expanded to include PMI’s sister in the Towboat Industry, that the knowledge from the expe- campus in Baltimore; Workboat Academy-Baltimore started rienced Mates and Masters who were close to retirement was in 2007 at the Maritime Institute for Technology and Graduate not being passed on to a younger generation.” Out of these

Studies. Workboat Academy-Baltimore, like WBA-Seattle, concerns, the idea of the apprenticeship program was born.

focused primarily on the Towboat Industry. Pietersom continues, “All of industry was involved; Compa-

In order to effectively serve the three coasts, and responding nies, Governmental Organizations, Labor, Maritime Associa- to growing industry demand, WBA searched for a training fa- tions, Schools, etc. We feel fortunate that our Partner Compa- cility in the Gulf of Mexico in 2012. The Workboat Academy nies are much vested in the education of their cadets and are at the new Houston Marine facility in Kenner, Louisiana was in support of this program; they continue to be on our Program eventually inaugurated. That’s not to say there haven’t been Advisory Committee (PAC).” some bumps along the way. There were. This is not your grandfather’s maritime school. The Work-

According to Pietersom, WBA-New Orleans focuses on the boat Academy’s program length is 28 months. The apprentice Maritime Professional 51| | 50-63 Q1 MP2016.indd 51 2/29/2016 11:43:07 AM

Maritime Logistics Professional

Maritime Logistics Professional magazine is published six times annually.