With the offshore industry rapidly growing, it can be difficult to find well-trained and competent merchant mariners to meet the increasing demands. It can be equally difficult for mariners to acquire the training and certifications necessary to build a career. However, there is now one solution that can solve both of these issues:
“MAPS provides the opportunity for low-income mariners to afford the training they need to pursue the careers they want,” said Timothy Young, Maritime Attorney.
The Marine Award Program for Seamen (MAPS) is a merit- and need-based financial aid service started by The Young Firm, a maritime injury law firm in New Orleans. MAPS offers $18,000 annually in awards to qualifying mariners so they can attend one of three participating training facilities in Louisiana. These facilities are Houston Marine Training Services, Lafourche Merchant Marine Training Services, and Martin International.
To be eligible for MAPS, seamen must meet four requirements:
-Must be a United States citizen
-Must currently hold a TWIC and able to get it updated if need be
-Must be able to attend one of the three Louisiana training facilities
-Must have the required sea time for the desired course
The awards are offered in the fall and spring. The deadline for the fall is August 15. Winners will be announced August 31.
How to apply
Seamen can apply either on MarineAward.com or by requesting a paper copy (855-783-2385). Each of these awards will be for the amount of $1,000 or less if the desired course does not exceed $1000. It is free to apply for the award, but mariners may only apply once. Winners are chosen based on the content of the applications and whether or not the applicants appear to be committed to his/her career as an offshore worker.