(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.; July 6, 2007) Crowley recently hired 21 graduating seniors from the 2007 Spring graduating classes of the nations merchant marine academies. The surge in academy new-hires is part of Crowleys re-energized recruiting program designed to help address crewing shortages currently facing the maritime industry.
These newly hired graduates will be given a comprehensive, training program intended to provide them an introduction to the basics of towing along with insight into Crowleys procedures and safety culture.
This training has proven a valuable tool to build confidence in new academy graduates before subjecting them to what could otherwise be an overwhelming first day on the job, said Tucker Gilliam, director of marine crewing and development.
After the new-hires complete the training program, they sail for approximately one month under the guidance of Crowleys experienced senior officers with an overall goal of exposing them to an environment where they gain hands-on tools for success and advancement of their skills.
Crowleys intensive academy recruiting campaign is just one of several comprehensive initiatives started by the company over the last year. Crowley is taking steps to further the companys competitive advantage to not only recruit but also retain qualified sea-going personnel for the future. The company is working hard to bring new life to the industry by encouraging cadet shipping on its tugs and expanding its participation in Academy sponsored programs focusing on the towing industry.
Most training curriculums are focused on larger, deep sea vessels. However, the cadet shipping program that takes place on our ocean-going tugs offers cadets invaluable time at sea to gain exposure to towing fundamentals they can not get in the classroom. said Gilliam.
As demand for officers has increased in the towing industry, Crowley is trying to help the maritime academies give cadets exposure to towing fundamentals in the classroom and on the water via cadet shipping. So far we have had good response from the schools and students and our recruiting program has been very successful.
Crowley has also increased their scholarship offerings to cadets at maritime academies by nearly 170% and has donated the necessary funds to develop a leadership program at the Webb Institute.
In addition to focusing on academy graduates, Crowley has implemented a development program designed to help long-time employees advance their careers. In the summer of 2006, funding was approved to sponsor six of the companys able-bodied seamen as they endeavored to pursue their 1600 Ton Mates license. The program proved to be an overwhelming success and Crowley now offers an AB to Mate Program, which offers experienced crew members the opportunity to take the 22 weeks of classes required to get their original Mates license under the new STCW regulations. The program compensates the individuals for time at school on the same basis as if they had spent the time at sea. To date, Crowley has had 19 employees successfully complete the program, and has three more entering the program this month.
This program gives our experienced crew members the chance to climb the ladder when before they may have been limited by the financial loss incurred by enrolling in the licensing classes. said Gilliam. Most individuals cant afford to take four to five months without pay to complete the necessary courses and test preparation. Crowleys program gives them the opportunity to advance their careers where they may not have been able to previously. We are very proud of the dedication and hard work put forth by our men and women who have completed the program to date and are confident they will make fine officers serving with Crowley for years to come.
In the future, Crowley has plans to develop a trainee engineer and chief mate program, which will provide crew members with the assistance and experience they need in order to make the jump to chief engineer or chief mate and eventually captain. According to Gilliam, the current industry demographics are such that there will be lots of opportunity for advancement in the years to come, and Crowley is working hard to make sure these opportunities go to the individuals that most deserve them.
Jacksonville-based Crowley Maritime Corporation, founded in San Francisco in 1892, is a privately held family and employee-owned company that provides diversified transportation and logistics services in domestic and international markets by means of five operating lines of business: Liner Services; Logistics Services; Petroleum Services, Marine Services and Technical Services. Other services provided within these business lines include contract towing and transportation; ship assist and escort; energy support; salvage and emergency response; vessel management, and petroleum and chemical transportation, distribution and sales. Additional information about Crowley its subsidiaries and business units may be found on the Internet at www.crowley.com.
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