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Training the maritime industry's future

Posted at 5:44 PM, Oct 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-29 17:44:10-04

LINTHICUM, Md. — The three things on everyone's minds right now are the election, the coronavirus and the economy.

Governor Hogan looked at all three today, visiting some businesses to see how they're handling the pandemic.

He found out it's easier to navigate it virtually before getting out into the thick of it.

The governor made a visit to the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies in Linthicum. They train mariners to operate everything from tugboats in our bay to ships of all sizes around the world.

The governor has been navigating the state through some rough waters during this pandemic but operating a 100-foot vessel in open water is another challenge. And that's exactly why they have these simulators. Crashing during a virtual run is a lot less costly than the real thing.

"This is a perfect example of how important economic development, wind energy, job training," Hogan explained. "They are an example of what we’re trying to do."

Bob Becker is Director of Business Development for Graduate Studies. The institute received a nearly $300,000 grant from the state. The institute usually handles 70 students a week, now they are down to about 25.

The company partners with Orstead, an alternative energy company dealing with wind energy.

The governor is navigating a large vessel through a wing farm off the coast of New Jersey is still under construction. They can recreate almost anything on the water, even a wind farm in the middle of the ocean; it’s invaluable for future mariners and the alternative wind industry.

"It gives people an idea what it’s going to look like and how the vessels are going to react in that data base to the real thing, before you even put a shovel in the ground," Becker said.

With federal and state money, assistance is helping and making a difference, but the governor still has cautious words for all of us.

"We are still dealing with pretty a terrible heath and economic crisis," he said.