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New training center will provide specialized training

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Hundreds of current and future workers within Greater Philadelphia’s growing maritime industry will have access to specialized training programs under an initiative announced recently by Citizens Bank, the Collegiate Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development, PhilaPort and Philadelphia Works.

Representatives from the four organizations gathered at the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal in South Philadelphia Dec. 5, to announce the creation of the Citizens Bank Regional Maritime Training Center – a first-of-its-kind workforce development initiative that will provide formal, enhanced training opportunities such as forklift certification and recertification, yard jockey training and OSHA safety training.

The center is being funded through a $100,000 contribution from Citizens Bank and a mix of public and private funding sources.

“Assuring that we have a well-trained, safe and inclusive workforce available for our growing port economy is an important investment for Citizens Bank,” said Daniel K. Fitzpatrick, president of Citizens Bank, Mid-Atlantic Region. “We are honored to team up with such wonderful partners to provide the Greater Philadelphia area with its first formalized training center for Port employees.”

The Citizens Bank Regional Maritime Training Center will be located at a former PhilaPort-owned overflow facility at 61st Street and Essington Avenue in South Philadelphia.

Initial funding will support the purchase of a portable classroom trailer, line striping on-site for obstacle training, heavy equipment rentals and purchase of palletized mock cargo for applied training. Partners estimate 200 new and existing workers will take advantage of the center’s programs during the center’s first year of operations.

The Collegiate Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development, which includes Bucks County Community College, Camden County College, Community College of Philadelphia, Delaware County Community College, Montgomery County Community College and Drexel University, will develop curriculum for training at the new center.

“The curriculum that we develop for the center will formalize the training process for these jobs, which until now had been handed down through generational knowledge,” said Dr. L. Joy Gates Black, president of Delaware County Community College and chair of the Collegiate Consortium.

Philadelphia Works, the city’s workforce development board, will help fund and oversee training services at the center, as well as support grant-writing for additional public and private funding.

The Philadelphia ports serve one of the most densely populated areas in the country, with approximately 27 million people located within 100 miles. PhilaPort is the independent agency charged with managing and maintaining port facilities along the Delaware River in Pennsylvania and is a critical partner in this initiative.

The Citizens Bank Regional Maritime Training Center is expected to begin providing programming in 2019.


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