Apprenticeship program open houses to be held across the country to help kickstart maritime careers 

WASHINGTON – The Transportation Institute (TI) is joining in partnership with the Seafarers International Union (SIU) during National Apprenticeship Week to hold career open houses for young men and women interested in working in the maritime industry. TI and SIU will host open houses at halls in three states and participate in apprentice-focused career fairs across nine other states. 

The Apprentice Program, based at the Seafarers’ Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship (SHLSS), offers aspiring seafarers, aged 18 and up, a unique opportunity to receive tuition-free training, gain valuable on-the-job skills, and embark on a journey toward a rewarding career enriched with substantial benefits. It is one of the largest training programs for entry-level seafarers in the United States and is designed to prepare students with little to no experience to learn the necessary skills they will need to serve aboard U.S.-flagged vessels. 

The Apprentice Program is one of the largest training programs for entry-level seafarers in the United States.
The Apprentice Program is one of the largest training programs for entry-level seafarers in the United States. (CREDIT: SIU)

“Keeping with this year’s theme for National Apprenticeship Week, the maritime industry is the ‘Superhighway to Good Jobs’ and we are proud to partner with the Seafarers International Union to showcase this industry’s potential,” said James L. Henry, Chairman and President of the Transportation Institute. “These jobs are vital to America’s continued economic and national security success and are a great career path – especially for young men and women. The American Maritime industry is consistently expanding opportunities in our workforce that are inclusive of individuals who have been historically underserved and marginalized people, this partnership is a testament to that.” 

“At SIU, we’re dedicated to making the maritime industry more accessible and inclusive. Our Apprentice Program is a testament to this commitment, offering tuition-free training and valuable on-the-job skills for people,” said Ryan Covert, Director of Recruiting at the Seafarers International Union. “This is truly a career ladder for someone with no maritime background to get a feel for the industry, put in the work in the classroom and on a vessel to gain access to a good-paying, family-sustaining job. We could only do it effectively in partnership with our committed owner and operator partners.” 

Union halls across the country will host open houses to talk about SIU’s apprenticeship programs for National Apprenticeship Week, including in Wilmington, California; Joliet, Illinois; and Jacksonville, Florida in addition to apprentice-focused career fairs across nine states. 

The apprenticeship is a testament to the commitment of SIU and its partners in the U.S.-flagged maritime industry in providing a world-class training environment for those aspiring to excel in the maritime industry. 


About the Transportation Institute (TI)

The Transportation Institute (TI) was established in 1967 as a non-profit organization dedicated to maritime research education and promotion. The Institute participates in all phases of the nation’s deep-sea, foreign and domestic shipping trades, and barge and tugboat operations on the Great Lakes and on the vast network of America’s inland waterways. Many member company vessels are contracted to the U.S. military services. All are of U.S. registry — crewed by American citizens operating under the world’s highest safety standards, and proudly flying the American flag. With offices on the East and West coasts, Transportation Institute supports a wide range of programs that promote the strength of America’s capability. For more information please visit: (English) / (Spanish)  


About the Seafarers International Union (SIU)

The Seafarers International Union, Atlantic, Gulf, Lakes and Inland Waters, AFL-CIO, represents professional United States merchant mariners sailing aboard U.S.-flag vessels in the deep sea, Great Lakes and inland trades. For more information about the Seafarers International Union, visit learn more about our apprenticeship program or to start an application on