Port Houston Chairman Janiece Longoria provided the keynote address at the Shared Quarters National Maritime Workforce Conference at the San Jacinto Maritime Technology and Training Center June 5.
The conference joined together industry professionals and educators from across the country to focus on the expansion of the maritime industry and efforts to incorporate community colleges for the training of the maritime workforce.
Longoria noted that the conference is a “critically important gathering aimed at addressing the need for a strong maritime workforce for the future.” More than 1,000 students in the region are in the pipeline for potential maritime industry careers.
“The Houston Ship Channel remains the backbone of the economic activity and the lifeblood of our region, our state and our nation,” Longoria said. “We continue to grow because tremendous investment is being made in our ship channel region, to produce goods that are exported through our port.”
The event, included panels focused on military to maritime workforce crosswalks, focusing on accreditation and curriculum for military and maritime professionals transitioning to college courses after military service.
Dr. Brenda Hellyer, Ed.D., Chancellor for San Jacinto College, noted that the port played a key role establishing the institution’s maritime facility near the port’s Bayport Container Terminal. The facility has a ship navigation and training simulator that was donated by the Houston Pilots Association.
The Port of Houston Partners in Maritime Education, the nonprofit organization founded in 2009 by the port, is a critical link in workforce development, and has a primary focus to encourage area students to pursue career opportunities in the maritime transportation or affiliated fields, including logistics, freight, security and environment.