NEWS BITTS – New Orleans training company purchased

Houston Marine Training Services will continue to train mariners after all. Plans by Chicago-based Kaplan Financial to close the training school by the end of the year were shelved after Alford Safety Services Inc. of Houma, La., purchased the New Orleans-based company earlier this year. The deal is good news for Gulf Coast mariners. “The purchase was a win-win situation for all parties involved, most importantly the mariners themselves,” said Roger Canafax, Alford Safety’s maritime division manager. “We all know that time constraints and class sizes make it difficult for many mariners to complete required training for advancement. The maritime industry certainly did not need the closure of a school to complicate matters further.” Louisiana’s Incumbent Worker Training Program provides grant money each year to companies specifically for mariner training. And, Canafax said, many of those grants could have been lost if Houston Marine had closed. “With the closure of a school, it makes it that much harder for companies to receive the training they need,” Canafax said. “And if the IWTP money [in a fiscal year]is not spent, chances are the schools won’t be approved for the same amount of training funds the next year.”

– Matt Gresham

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