Sarah Scherer, Seattle Central Community College
Craig Bailey, Sam Simone, Thomas Ruszala, Coral Ledford and Joe Schmitt, Seattle Central Community College
Frederic Stahr, Ocean Inquiry Project
Washington’s $12 billion maritime sector faces a workforce crisis with little public awareness of the 118,000 well-paid jobs that shipping, fishing, boatbuilding and other maritime industries provide in this state. Limited school curricula are available to impart the skills these industries need. And according to Seattle’s Economic Development Council, limited industry leadership and fragmented maritime training organizations further hinder workforce development. To reverse these trends, the Experience Maritime Project at Seattle Central College’s Washington Maritime Academy is developing a STEM-focused curriculum introducing high school students to the challenges and rewards that maritime careers offer. It will combine this instruction with hands-on experience, including a full day aboard the Academy’s vessel Maritime Instructor, to initiate 240 high school students, plus teachers and guidance counselors from Seattle and an outlying school district, in the experience of working at sea.