Local leaders, including Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, recently joined Citizens Bank, the Collegiate Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development, PhilaPort, and Philadelphia Works to celebrate the official opening of the Citizens Bank Regional Maritime Training Center.
Citizens Bank Chairman and CEO Bruce Van Saun cut the ribbon on the new facility, located at 3062 South 61st Street in Philadelphia.
He also announced an additional $75,000 investment to expand training opportunities for maritime industry personnel. The $75,000 investment is in addition to $100,000 the bank provided last year to help create the center.
“We are proud to support the Citizens Bank Regional Maritime Training Center and its continued expansion to serve the maritime industry,” Van Saun said. “Providing the region with its first formalized maritime training program will help elevate the local workforce and drive economic growth.”
The additional funding will help expand training for maritime industry personnel to include additional immersive classroom, simulator-based and hands-on learning opportunities designed to improve safety, efficiency and productivity.
“We thank Citizens Bank and our other partners for enabling us to go forward with this wonderful initiative,” said Dr. L. Joy Gates Black, Chair of the Collegiate Consortium, and President of Delaware County Community College. “The training provided by the Center is tailored to the regional needs of labor and industry, will increase the global competitiveness of Greater Philadelphia’s maritime industry, and will support good family-sustaining wage jobs.”
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, developed the curriculum for the training center.
Among other things, the training is aimed to provide workers with the opportunity to become certified or recertified in operating motorized equipment routinely used in and around the port, according to organizers. Thus far, 45 people have taken advantage of training at the center, and more than 200 employees are scheduled to be trained this fall.
“We at Citizens Bank have made a commitment to providing workforce development opportunities to the communities we serve,” said Daniel K. Fitzpatrick, President of Citizens Bank, Mid-Atlantic Region. “By bringing all of these crucial partners together to create this program, we can ensure that workers have the skills needed to keep the maritime industry thriving.”
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. Other important partners include Philadelphia Works, the city’s workforce development board, which has helped fund and has overseen training services at the center.
“With the official opening of the Citizens Bank Regional Maritime Training Center, we are making good on our commitment to expand opportunities at the port,” Kenney said. “This investment will help support family-sustaining jobs and elevate our region’s position as a leader in the maritime industry. Public-private partnerships of this kind are what make our city so special and serve as the key to our growth and prosperity.”