Hundreds of current and future workers within Greater Philadelphia’s growing maritime industry will have access to specialized training programs under an initiative announced today 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 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.
“I applaud Citizens Bank, the Collegiate Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development, PhilaPort and Philadelphia Works for launching this unique partnership,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. “This investment in the port will not only provide family-sustaining jobs for Philadelphia residents, but will help continue to position our region as a global leader in the maritime industry.”
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.
“We’d like to thank Citizens Bank and Philadelphia Works for providing the support necessary to launch this pioneering initiative,” said Dr. L. Joy Gates Black, President of Delaware County Community College and Chair of the Collegiate Consortium. “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.”
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.
“A trained workforce is a safe workforce,” said H. Patrick Clancy, President and CEO, Philadelphia Works. “Philadelphia Works’ mission is to ensure all Philadelphia residents have an opportunity to receive the training and support they need to find a career that works. This program is a great example of diverse stakeholders coming together to create a pipeline of qualified workers to fill the jobs of tomorrow, which is a pillar of the Citywide Workforce Development Strategy. We congratulate the Collegiate Consortium and thank Citizens Bank for this critical private support.”
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.
“A 21st century port requires a 21st century approach to training our workers,” said Jeff Theobald, Executive Director and CEO, PhilaPort. “We’ve seen tremendous growth at the port in recent years and we hope this partnership will help that growth continue, allowing us to remain competitive while keeping our workers safe.”
The Citizens Bank Regional Maritime Training Center is expected to begin providing programming in 2019.