Local maritime industry leaders and educators are working to encourage more young people to take jobs — requiring everything from long stints at sea to repairing ships — to ease a shortage of workers qualified for those jobs.

Keri Heath: 409-683-5241; or on Twitter @HeathKeri.

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(2) comments

Miceal O'Laochdha

Col. Fossum said mariners have to go to sea for weeks at a time? Weeks? These new kids don't understand how lucky they have it. When I went to sea, we were 4 MONTHS on at a time, sometimes 6 months, and that was the officers; the unlicensed crew often stayed 6 months to a year at a time. During Desert Shield/Storm/Sabre, most of us stayed with our ships 8-12 months; in some cases going directly from one ship to another. TAMUG needs to find a way to let kids who don't come from mariner family backgrounds understand what a program like this provides: increasing financial assistance during years at the Academy, graduating with a commission in the US Navy (reserve or active, their choice) AND either an unlimited 3rd Engineer or unlimited 3rd Mate license (depending on whether they took for a very high-paying seagoing berth with day-for-day paid vacation.

Miceal O'Laochdha

Apologies, fat fingers sent that post too quick. The last phrase in parenthesis should have read: (depending on whether they took the Engine Officer or the Deck Officer program)...for a very high-paying seagoing berth...

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