Gregg Trunnell, Director of the Pacific Maritime Institute (PMI), announced that their U.S. Coast Guard approved 500/1600 Ton Mate Program is scheduled to begin on May 30, 2006. Funding for this program is now available through the Veterans Administration for G.I. Benefits and from SLM Financial Corporation, a "Sallie Mae" Company.
"The Mate Program is an innovative two-year training curriculum that is aimed at creating a larger pool of qualified Able-Seamen and Mates for the towing industry. The Program is organized so that every shore-based training phase is reinforced by an onboard training phase. This approach allows trainees to apply their new knowledge and skills on the job," said Gregg Trunnell. "We are working with major towing companies to develop and improve training so that our students have the seamanship skills that employers are looking for. In fact, many of these companies have committed to provide billets for the onboard training component of the Program."
The Program includes 25-weeks of shore-based training, 52-weeks of required onboard training, and access to the latest license examination preparation software. The four-phase curriculum is designed to build onto each prior segment of training so that students can continually develop their overall capabilities gradually and logically. Students that choose to obtain their sea time on towing vessels will
also be issued a 'Towing Officer's Assessment Record' (TOAR) certificate.
Professor Allen Glenn, Dean Emeritus of the University of Washington
, had this to say about the PMI Mate Program, "The program is based on sound pedagogy and a careful consideration of the standards that must be met by the graduates. It is an intense, demanding program. Good! We want competent people on the bridge."