PASADENA, Texas — The San Jacinto College Maritime Technology and Training Center was named a Center of Excellence for Domestic Maritime Workforce Training and Education (CoE) last week by the Maritime Administration.

San Jacinto College, Pasadena, Texas, joins 26 others as the country’s first group to receive the CoE designation, which recognizes community colleges and training institutions that prepare students for careers in the maritime industry. San Jacinto College is one of just three community colleges located along the Gulf of Mexico, and the only Texas institution to be designated a CoE.

Opened in 2016, the college’s 45,000-sq.-ft., waterfront Maritime Technology and Training Center is equipped with state-of-the-art bridge and engine room simulators and offers more than 70 Coast Guard and Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) approved courses. The Center also offers Texas’ only associate of applied science degree in maritime transportation, combining USCG- and STCW-approved training with college-level academics.

“Sitting at the mouth of the largest port in Texas, and one of the busiest in the country, San Jacinto College’s maritime training program plays an essential role in ensuring economic success in both the Houston area and the entire nation and educating a strong workforce for high-quality jobs,” said Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas. “Their designation as a Center of Excellence for Domestic Maritime Workforce Training and Education is well-deserved, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact that San Jac will continue to make on our region and across the globe.”

“I am glad to see the San Jacinto Community College District earn this long-awaited, prestigious designation as a Center of Excellence for Domestic Maritime Workforce Training and Education (CoE) through the Maritime Administration,” said U.S. Rep. Sylvia R. Garcia, D-Texas. “San Jacinto Community College campuses have continuously provided high-quality, affordable education to my constituents and the Greater Houston area. This important recognition should go a long way in securing more federal funding to improve and expand upon San Jacinto Community College District’s existing education programs. I’m proud to represent their incredibly successful campuses and students in Congress.”

Winner of the prestigious national 2019 Bellwether Award in Workforce Development, the San Jacinto College Maritime Program excels at providing a solution to the shortage of Gulf Coast mariners through academic excellence and strong industry partnerships. These efforts will be bolstered by the new CoE designation, as Marad partners with designated institutions to help advance student and faculty recruitment, enhance facilities, and provide assistance in the form of equipment and vessel usage.

“We are so honored and appreciative of this designation by Marad,” said San Jacinto College Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer. “Our maritime program and campus were created based on a vision from our maritime industry partners, and this recognition is a true testament of industry’s support and commitment to our training efforts as we continue preparing the Gulf Coast region’s mariner workforce.”