Seattle, WA – On the morning of Friday May 13th, Councilmember Tammy J. Morales joined Mayor Harrell’s Office, City of Seattle Office of Economic Development (OED), Seattle Colleges, and the Seattle Maritime Academy (SMA), to celebrate the release of $1 million in funding for sustaining SMA operations and maintaining technical maritime education in Seattle.
Councilmember Morales secured one-time funding to support opportunities in the Maritime industry from funding the City of Seattle received as part of the Federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). A portion of the $1 million will provide gap funding to Seattle Colleges for operation of the Seattle Maritime Academy in the ’22-23 school year. The remaining will be allocated for community outreach and recruitment through SMA, in partnership with Seattle Public Schools for the Maritime Vessel Operations Program, and Advanced Maritime, which is part of the Seattle Skill Center at Seattle Public Schools. This funding will serve as a natural induction for Seattle high school students to learn about maritime careers, especially to provide opportunities for youth of color to the maritime industry.
At this time, Councilmember Morales’ funding is the only funding dedicated to sustaining this critical program with Seattle Colleges as SMA has not received any private dollars. As many who have gone through the program note, SMA is a one-of-a-kind public program within Seattle Colleges that allows low-income students to use federal financial aid to attend. Additionally, Seattle high school students can use the Seattle Promise grants to attend. This is a critical component of advancing equity and maintaining affordability.
“I’m excited to secure critical gap funding to support Seattle Colleges’ Maritime Academy and Seattle Public Schools’ Maritime Vessel Operations Program for the 2022-2023 school year,” Councilmember Morales said. “Keeping these programs operating will increase access to training for young people looking for high-paying, skilled jobs in the Maritime industry. Jobs that offer stable employment and a good career pathway,” Morales continued.
“Maritime is one of Washington state’s core industries but it faces an uncertain future as we grapple with a shortage of qualified mariners. SMA opens up doors for students to launch amazing career opportunities on the water and is a valued partner of our Washington State Ferries team,” said Governor Inslee. “I appreciate everyone who has contributed to supporting the Academy’s mission of providing technical maritime education that is affordable and accessible to a diverse set of students across our state.”
“This investment in Seattle’s maritime industry, schools, and students will create pathways to good careers for those who need them most. This unique program shows what is possible when we work together as One Seattle, that it is possible to both advance equity and grow our economy when we invest in our community and youth,” said Mayor Bruce Harrell. “I am thankful for Councilmember Morales’ leadership on this issue and the partnership of Governor Inslee, Seattle Colleges, and Seattle Public Schools in creating this opportunity for our youth of color to join our thriving maritime industry. Our commitment, through programs like this and Seattle Promise is that every child in Seattle, from every neighborhood, will have access to the education they need to build the future they deserve.”
“As we at Seattle Colleges struggle with how to continue providing the critical training in face of a major budget shortfall, I am thrilled that the City of Seattle and City Council are redirecting funds to help bridge our budget gap,” stated Chancellor Shouan Pan. “This funding will allow us to address the short-term needs as we work with the state and maritime industry to explore longer-term solutions. Seattle Colleges Board of Trustees and I thank Councilwoman Morales and Mayor Harrell for their leadership support at this critical juncture. We look forward to working with industry, governmental, and elected leaders to find a sustainable path forward so we can do our part in preparing and training a diverse and skilled maritime workforce in our region.”
“The Maritime industry is a critical part of Seattle’s economy and for it to succeed, it needs ready sources of skilled and diverse talent. The Seattle Maritime Academy is a key source for that talent and the investment we are announcing today will help make sure that this important program will help train the next generation of maritime workers,” said Markham McIntyre, Interim Director at the Seattle Office of Economic Development. “As we turn the corner from emergency relief to economic recovery, we need to make sure that the next generation of maritime workers draws from communities who previously did not have easy access to these great jobs. That is how we will build a more equitable economy and create future success for our legacy industries – more diversity equals more prosperity.”
“The Skills Center of Seattle Public Schools provides advanced Career and Technical Education training to high school students. Our Maritime Vessel Operations program and Advanced Manufacturing program provide excellent preparation for college and careers in maritime, and the Seattle Maritime Academy offers a great next step for our students,” said Dan Golosman, the Principal of the Seattle Skills Center with Seattle Public Schools. “This funding will help us spread the word to students and families about the high wage, high demand career opportunities in maritime, and will be especially helpful in recruiting women and students of color furthest from educational justice who have historically been underrepresented in this career pathway. Students who join us at the Seattle Skills Center will be well-prepared for the Seattle Maritime Academy college program, and by using the Seattle Promise Scholarship, they will complete the program and start their maritime career debt free.”
“We are grateful to the City of Seattle and, frankly, relieved to have the City partner with Seattle Colleges to ensure that the Seattle Maritime Academy will remain open at this time,” said Louise Chernin, Chair of the Board of Trustees for Seattle Colleges. “It is clear to all of us how important the Maritime Academy is to our students, our community and our regional Maritime industry. For Seattle Colleges to be able to advance equity through workforce development by providing living wage jobs, it is critical that we have strong partnerships with government, business and community leaders. The City of Seattle has shown again, as it did with Seattle Promise, that it is committed to ensuring the sustainability of Seattle Colleges.”