This January, San Jacinto college will open the doors of La Porte Training Center. This state of the art facility is dedicated to educating the next generation of maritime workers and updating the skills of those already in the industry. The newly expanded center features 15 classrooms, tugboat and towboat simulators and a state-of-the-art fill mission ship.
This is great news because the maritime industry is expanding. More than 90% of consumer goods, from the foods we eat to the clothes we wear, comes to us via the Gulf waterways. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected the global GDP growth for 2015 and 2016 to be between 3.5-4.7%. This means more products being shipped in and out of the country, and more jobs for skilled maritime workers.
The opening of the La Porte training center couldn’t have come at a better time. In addition to the U.S. Coast Guard approved and internationally-recognized Standards for Training certifications, La Porte is proud to offer Texas’ first associate degree in Maritime Transportation. The new training center at San Jacinto College doesn’t just benefit the industry, it benefits the city as a whole in several ways:
- Boost to our local economy – when people have more money, they spend more money. Restaurants and small business owners in and around Houston are sure to increase their sales and attract new customers.
- Job opportunities for millennials – the overwhelming majority of our population consists of 18-34 year olds, the generation commonly referred to as millennials. By the year 2020, over half our country’s workforce will consist of millennials and you can bet a good portion of them will be working in Houston.
- A well-educated workforce leads to an increase in wages – studies show that median wages are substantially higher in states with better-educated workers. By investing in maritime industry education, Houston can attract more high-wage employers. Many of these high-wage employers are major international companies like Nvaois Maritime Holdings, for example.
- Tourism and recreation industry boom – with people moving to Houston for job opportunities, more families will be visiting from out of state. Local families will have extra income for fun activities. Good thing there’s plenty to do and see in Houston. With the Astrodome, the Galleria, the Downtown Tunnels and Market Square Park providing beautiful, exciting adventure settings for future memories.
- More funds to reinvest in our communities – we already know that empowering people with access to education leads to more local spending, higher wages and increased tourism. All this contributes to our state’s tax fund. This leads to more monies for infrastructure improvements, like expanded school transportation and school lunch programs, expanded police and emergency services forces, and surface road maintenance.
One of the most important factors of a well-trained workforce is the potential for overall reduction of injuries on the job. Highly trained workers are less likely to cause workplace accidents. However, workplace injuries can and will occur. As the maritime industry continues to expand, the attorneys at Pierce | Skrabanek will be ready to assist injured seamen, longshoremen and harbor workers for years to come.