LA PORTE, Texas – Administrators from the United States Maritime Administration (MARAD), along with staff from United States Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, recently visited the construction site of the Maritime Technology and Training Center, where they received a glimpse of one of the region's only waterfront campuses being built specifically for mariner training and as a home to the state's first maritime transportation associate degree program.

Michael Rodriguez, MARAD deputy maritime administrator; Shawn Ireland, MARAD director of Office of Ship Disposal Programs; Bill Cahill, MARAD deputy associate administrator for Strategic Sealift; and Kevin Tokarski, MARAD associate administrator for Strategic Sealift, visited with San Jacinto College administrators to tour the maritime center site and to learn more about the needs of the Houston region's maritime industry and of the training San Jacinto College offers to prepare more mariners for work. In addition, Matthew Conner, deputy regional director for United States Senator John Cornyn, and Will Miller, deputy regional director for United States Senator Ted Cruz, were in attendance.

"The days of getting on the dock and onto a boat are over," commented Rodriguez. "You have to have trained people who are ready. There are many people my age working in this industry, and you don't see very many who are younger."

Located at 3700 Old Highway 146 in La Porte, Texas, the Maritime Technology and Training Center is set to open in January 2016. Currently, the San Jacinto College maritime training program and maritime transportation associate degree program are operating out of a facility in Pasadena, Texas. The waterfront facility along the Port of Houston will serve as the new site for certificate and associate degree maritime training delivered through U.S. Coast Guard-required and approved course work. 

It will house 15 classrooms; engineering simulators to train maritime engineers for hydraulic, electric, pump control, motor control, heating and air conditioning, and refrigeration; and a multipurpose space for industry conferences and corporate partner meetings. Highlights of the new facility will include three full-mission ships bridge simulators, donated in 2013 by the Houston Pilots.

For more information about the San Jacinto College maritime program, visit

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.

For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, visit, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.