February 29, 2024

New maritime skills center will help provide next generation of maritime workers

Across the globe, jobs and livelihoods depend on ships and shipping. Much of that activity goes through Tacoma and the greater Pierce County region. To help build a maritime workforce that meets future demands, the Port of Tacoma and Tacoma Public Schools are working in partnership to develop a landmark campus on the Tacoma waterfront called the Port Maritime Center.

The Port Maritime Center will be home to a new Port business center and the Maritime|253 skills center, providing opportunities for high school students across Pierce County to develop skills and education leading to a career in the maritime and industrial trades.

“The Port Maritime Center will represent our commitment to workforce development, job creation and strong community connections,” Port of Tacoma Commission President Kristin Ang said. “Co-locating the Maritime|253 skills center alongside a new Port headquarters will provide many great opportunities to prepare future generations for jobs in the maritime and skilled-trades industries.”

Students are the future

Maritime|253 will be a regional Career and Technical Education (CTE) center that will serve junior/senior-level high school students from school districts throughout Pierce County. Students will take advanced CTE courses at the skills center in addition to classes at their home high schools required for graduation. Courses and participation will be offered at no cost to students.

Curriculum, which is still in development with industry advisors, will focus on four pathways:

  • Skilled and technical trades
  • Transportation and logistics
  • Technology and innovation
  • Sustainability in the maritime industry

“Our students are the future, and we have an obligation to help prepare them for life after graduation. But we can’t do it alone,” Tacoma Public Schools Board President Elizabeth Bonbright said in a press release announcing the partnership last year. “That’s why this opportunity with the Port of Tacoma is not only exciting, but also essential.”

For more information about the Martime|253 skills center, including a project timeline and partnership  opportunities, visit the Tacoma Public School website. Port Maritime Center project details are available on the Port of Tacoma website.


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