With jobs in demand, feds boost spending on maritime academy

Apr 10, 2018

The "State of Michigan" training vessel, operated by the Great Lakes Maritime Academy in Traverse City.
Credit Great Lakes Maritime Academy

The Great Lakes’ only merchant marine academy will get a million federal dollars for training. The Great Lakes Maritime Academy is in Traverse City.

Rear Admiral Jerry Achenbach says Congress recognizes the growing demand for trained merchant mariners.

“There’ll be 20,000 jobs for credentialed merchant mariners over the next several years," says Achenbach. "So I think it’s an acknowledgement of the cost of maritime education and the nation’s need for credentialed mariners.”

Merchant mariners operate cargo and passenger ships.

The Great Lakes Maritime Academy plans to use the extra money to improve its dock on Grand Traverse Bay. It will also buy $200,000 worth of diesel fuel for its training ship.

The academy is operated by Northwestern Michigan College and is one of six schools accredited by the U.S. Coast Guard. About 40 people graduate from the academy every year.