Seafarers Welcome the Freedom Star
Posted 9/23/2016 3:36 PM by Chad Aleshire
The Paul Hall Center Welcomes the Freedom Star, an Exciting New Addition to the Seafarers Apprenticeship Program
A vessel from the National Defense Reserve Fleet is now serving as a training platform, for apprentices, at The Seafarers Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship at The Paul Hall Center. Built in 1981, the M/V Freedom Star served as a recovery vessel for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), retrieving solid rocket boosters following space shuttle launches. On loan from the U.S. Maritime Administration, this advantageous agreement, between MARAD and The Paul Hall Center, allows a live platform for the Unlicensed Apprentice (UA) program to train young men and women for the maritime industry. The program includes apprentice training for the shipboard occupations of Able Seaman, Fireman/Oiler/Watertender (FOWT), and Chief Cook; thereby covering all three shipboard trades. The vessel has a 7,500 pound deck crane, which is an ideal training tool for shipboard cargo handling. It also is equipped with a fast rescue boat, which will offer critical experience in shipboard rescue boat operations. In addition, the vessel has a double towing winch, substantial towing H bitts, and fairleads for training in towing operations. The ships full modern galley offers an exceptional spot where Steward Department students will practice and hone their culinary skills. The Unlicensed Apprentices spend a great deal of their training working on the Freedom Star, alongside of the ship’s bosun and engineer, performing additional duties in these specialized departments. The ship’s presence has proven to be, not only a great motivational tool for the students pursuing a maritime career, but also an excellent addition to the program’s curriculum.
School History: The Seafarers Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship at the Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education is the largest training institution in the nation for unlicensed merchant mariners. We provide basic and advanced training in nautical science, marine engineering and maritime culinary arts. Our students serve around the world on U.S. flagged commercial ships and represent a broad spectrum of the American workforce. In 2003 the Seafarers Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship joined with the U.S Department of Labor in the development of a tuition free Unlicensed Apprentice (UA) program for training young men and women for the maritime industry. The school is affiliated with the Seafarers International Union (SIU). After completion of this UA program, graduates are guaranteed a first job aboard one of the SIU's contracted vessels. The school has a GED program that provides the opportunity for non-graduates to earn their high school diploma. The student body is very diverse. Women and minorities constitute a large percentage of our total student population. We maintain a 64 acre campus in Piney Point, Maryland with modern and comfortable housing and full food service where we train about 2000 students per year. Innovative training techniques and equipment such as state of the art simulation and live ship training is utilized to increase our effectiveness.
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