The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (Marad) announced today that it is accepting applications for Centers of Excellence (CoE) designations to recognize and support community or technical colleges and maritime training centers that prepare Americans for careers in the maritime industry.

As we continue to address the challenges presented by supply chain disruptions and climate change, this effort expands equitable opportunities for good paying jobs and prepares workers for successful future careers in the maritime industry, the DOT said. 

“These Centers of Excellence are developing the next generation of the maritime workforce and improving training in the maritime industry,” said Maritime Administrator Ann Phillips in a statement.

The CoE Program is a voluntary and collaborative program administered by Marad. It focuses on existing training facilities across communities and assists the maritime industry in gaining and sustaining a well-trained workforce. The program also supports the administration’s commitment to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility for students, faculty and staff in the maritime workforce, DOT said. 

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2018 provides the Secretary of Transportation with authority to designate eligible and qualified entities as CoEs. The DOT and Marad can also collaborate with designated CoEs to: advance recruitment and training of students and faculty, enhance facilities, award student credit for military service, create new maritime career pathways, enhance employer-led maritime training practices, and potentially receive assistance in the form of surplus equipment or temporary use of Marad vessels.  

Eligible organizations can submit applications and supporting documents via electronic mail to [email protected] and may also submit a copy by mail to: U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration, Deputy Associate Administrator for Maritime Education and Training, Attention: CoE Designation Program, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20590. Applications are due by 8:00 p.m. EST on Sept. 19, 2022.

Additional information on eligibility, selection criteria and application guidance is available in the Federal Register or by contacting Gerard Wall, Centers of Excellence Program Manager, at [email protected] or (202) 366-7273.