Students gather on deck of the training ship
“The sea is selective,” as the famed maritime officer Felix Riesenberg once noted, “slow at recognition, but fast at sinking the unfit.” This wise observation holds true in today’s maritime industry. The industry’s challenging work environment demands highly trained professionals with sharp decision-making and leadership skills. Skilled workers trained in the marine trades are in high demand in the greater New York City region — where many ports, ferries, tug and tow operators, container facilities and shipyards make their home. Success starts with “select” individuals obtaining extensive hands-on instruction, and specific credentials and endorsements. The need for qualified professionals has never been greater — and quality training has never been more important.
The process of acquiring the necessary experience, training and documentation can be a time-consuming, expensive, and somewhat overwhelming commitment for young professionals as they begin their careers. Virginia’s House of Hope Tugboat Program was created in order to set a course for qualified candidates, and assist them in obtaining the vocational and training opportunities that will launch a rewarding maritime career.
Our ultimate objective is to provide the maritime industry with select individuals ready to succeed. We will extend every effort and accommodation to ensure that our candidates are fit for the job — worthy of recognition and unsinkable.
Since 2008, the New York City-based charity Virginia’s House of Hope has supported the training of high-achieving individuals through a scholarship program for studies in maritime-related disciplines. As an extension of this mission, we have established Virginia’s House of Hope Tugboat Program, a unique training opportunity for young professionals to gain entrance into the maritime industry through a cooperative work-study curriculum. By offering on the job as well as classroom professional learning, we will provide instruction and access for applicants from disadvantaged families and/or under-served communities who wish to pursue a rewarding career in the maritime industry. With this initiative, we intend to become a vital resource for companies that employ highly-trained mariners in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The Virginia’s House of Hope Tugboat Program is one of the activities sponsored by Virginia’s House of Hope, a 501(c)(3) charitable not-for-profit organization that provides services and support to children, families and others in need and otherwise disadvantaged.
Tugboat Program Video
About the Program
Future seamen are shown the ropes
Candidates will be recommended through the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut regional Job Corps Centers. These centers, as part of the U.S. Department of Labor, have a commitment to providing free training opportunities for young adults interested in enhancing their careers.
Qualifications and Responsibilities:
The Virginia’s House of Hope Tugboat Program will require that participants be 18 years of age, have a high school diploma, and be in sound physical condition. Once selected, a participant must adhere to a challenging and comprehensive schedule that includes a blended regiment of course work and entry-level employment at a maritime-related company. In addition to these responsibilities, participants will participate in an enduring career management program that involves performance evaluation, career guidance and personal coaching over the life of the Program.
Format and Schedule:
A “rolling-admissions” model will determine the start date for participants. The three-year program will begin with a course-work focused year that will orient participants, and prepare them with the foundation knowledge required for their upcoming work-study. The second and third years of the program involve high-level courses with a lesser focus on hands-on instruction and more hours devoted to field work. Each cohort will progress through the program as a group, starting and finishing together as a class.
Each participant will designate a career track that will correspond with his or her goals, interests and abilities. Potential employers will select candidates that best suit their operational needs and professional requirements. The strength of this program will lie in the relationships developed between participants and their employers, and enhance the probability for success in the future.
Our Strategic Education Partner:
We are proud to partner in this initiative with SUNY Maritime College to administer this program and provide the highest standards of instruction. VHH Maritime Co-op Program shares common interests with our strategic partner, specifically the provision of training opportunities for the marine trades and maritime industry at large.
As the oldest and largest state maritime academy in the United States, Maritime College is well known as “First and Foremost” in international maritime education, training and research. The Virginia’s House of Hope Tugboat Program represents one of many industry outreach programs it engages in as it follows its mission as an institution. With the help of our collaborative partner, we will encourage all participants to work to their highest potential, by providing support through innovative efforts, and build a community of learning and success.
Corporate Sponsorship — Outreach and Advancement:
This educational and training initiative works as a partnership with the maritime industry, with common interests and shared outcomes. In fact, key components to the success of this program are the relationships and engagement that the Program develops with marine-focused enterprises. The strength of the program, in many ways, will result in the investment that companies make in the initiative — whether that be participation through partnership or through funding support.
Principally, supporting the Program is supporting the highest level of training for the most qualified candidates for the maritime industry. Additionally, our model offers companies an enduring solution for recruitment, staffing and training for their operational needs. Supporting this initiative gives back, while also securing interests going forward.
Training Model and Costs:
Candidates will enroll in a three-year schedule that combines license bearing course work with on-the-job training.