Sea School

An initiative to provide vocational training for maritime careers.

Principal Investigator

Brandi Bednarik, Grays Harbor Historical Seaport

Co-Principal Investigators

Caitlin Stanton, Operations Director, Grays Harbor Historical Seaport

Hali Boyd, Social Media Manager, Grays Harbor Historical Seaport

Sarah Herard, Pending co-investigator, Masters in Education in Training and Development Candidate (expected graduation from University of Michigan Dec. 2017), USCG Master 1600 Ton Oceans with STCW, sail-endorsed and AB Unlimited


Washington’s maritime sector contributes about $38 billion annually to the state’s overall economy. However, the associated workforce is aging, with only 35 percent now between the ages of 16 and 39. This project addresses the maritime workforce capacity needs by creating Sea School, an initiative to provide vocational training and outreach for informing young people about maritime careers. Sea School connects young people, who would otherwise have difficulty accessing maritime training, with a route into the industry. The program will achieve this by increasing the visibility of maritime work, providing free public education events around maritime work, and removing barriers for those who cannot afford professional licensing. Sea School cadets are assigned to either the Lady Washington or the Hawaiian Chieftain for training, where they learn skills such as safe line handling, piloting, helmsmanship, emergency response, chart plotting, teamwork skills and communicating as part of a liveaboard crew.