Seattle Maritime Academy hopes new school will attract next generation of mariners
by Kristen Drew|KOMO NEWS Seattle, WA USA
Thursday, October 6th 2016
SEATTLE, Wash. – A new building the Ballard waterfront in Seattle is creating new opportunities for the marine industry in our region.
The Seattle Maritime Academy just opened a state-of-the-art facility along Shilshole Avenue Northwest, to train the next generation of mariners.
Ferries are a critical part of the maritime industry and our economy, but an aging wok force is creating a demand for new workers.
“The maritime industry, over the next 10 years, we’re going to have a lot of people retiring,” said Seattle Maritime Academy director Sarah Scherer. “So this is the perfect time for us to start putting as many people as possible into the maritime industry.”
The new $20 million building built with state funds. It’s equipped with the latest technology and includes new classrooms, labs and simulators which mimic real-life situations.
The state ferry system is also on board with the new facility
“This facility will allow us to take that experience and spread it to the younger people and keep our ferries operating and our work force proficient,” said Matthew von Ruden from Washington State Ferries.
Many of the agency’s new hires come from the Seattle Maritime Academy.
Student Rory Carlson, who grew up in Ballard and comes from a family of mariners, hopes to become one of those new hires.
“When I went through the academy at Ballard Maritime I was very interested in the Maritime aspect of things,” said Carlson. “It always caught my attention and I loved the hands on stuff.”
The academy’s new facility is four times the size of the old building and give the school and opportunity to double enrollment.
“We have a natural geography in the Puget Sound for maritime,” said Scherer. “We have a huge thriving maritime industry and it’s really important for us to be here.”
Students complete the program in a year, then do an internship, which could lead to a full-time job.
Carlson hopes to one day be a captain.
“A lot of people doing that are getting older and they need younger people to fill that spot,” said Carlson. “They get paid quite a bit so that is always an extra plus.”
Students who finish the program could start out making between $40,000 and $60,000 a year.Visit SMA Site