A senior California Maritime Academy (CMA) executive says maritime schools are finding it harder to recruit cadets, warning that schools must work harder to be relevant and address diversity issues.
On February 6th Franz Lozano, Chief Financial Officer at the California Maritime Academy, Vallejo, California told the Propeller Club of Northern California that enrollment at CMA has dropped as a result of a changing social and work environment.
Lozano said all maritime schools are facing similar challenges and that schools need to recognize the need for addressing diversity issues and adjusting to a changing work environment.
Maritime schools will continue to be relevant because of the skills associated with new types of energy generation such as the deployment of offshore wind farms which will require mariners for operations and maintenance.
Maritime schools will be vital to support these types of operations. This means, “training the next generation of … mariners, engineers, scientists, policy makers, business professionals, military service members and global leaders. We need them. The United States Merchant Marine needs them. The industry needs them.”
However, he noted that cadets also need to maintain levels of professionalism demanded by employers such as, “Be on time, professionally dressed, knowledgeable, and most importantly, respectful to companies who compete to hire our graduates. And we must keep it that way. Even if it's challenging today, we must keep it that way. Our brand, our future, and our reputation demand it.”
As part of the changes, Lozano noted that CMA was emphasizing events such as an offshore wind conference to be held next week and a Women In Maritime Leadership conference in March.
Lozano said that he was proud to be part of the California Maritime family and … “help continue this tradition of excellence for every cadet graduate and thousands of accomplished alumni across the world. Not only are students representing themselves, they represent their families, they represent the university, and they represent many of you in this room. We are all inextricably linked when it comes to ensuring that our country, the state of California, are positioned for economic vitality in America ...”
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