BEAUMONT, Texas — A unique program at Lamar State College in Orange is offering hands-on training in the maritime industry.
Those with the college say the time is right to get a job in the maritime industry, and they're encouraging you to check out a free training.
Lamar State College Orange Professor James Chatlosh said there's a need for workers in the maritime industry, not just here in Southeast Texas, but around the world.
"They are like giving sign-on bonuses. They are giving all kinds of incentives in this industry," Chatlosh said,
Chatlosh said some maritime companies are offering sign-on bonuses anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000.
He said recruiters have their eyes on these students who are graduating from the maritime program this year.
"We already have companies that are trying to grab them up already. It's like they're fighting to get in the door to get them out of here," Chatlosh said.
Chatlosh is a longtime boat captain that has been teaching in LSCO's maritime program for a little less than a year.
He said most of the teaching takes place in a lab setting.
"We use the simulator to try to simulate the going out on a ship, moving ships around, and we try to teach them the laws, maritime laws," Chatlosh said.
Chatlosh said he hopes people will take advantage of the free maritime training being offered this week.
"Hopefully it's a path that they would want to go on because it's a guaranteed lifestyle. I mean guaranteed income, very good benefits," Chatlosh said.
Chatlosh said this week's training focuses solely on captaining a ship but the maritime program trains students to be boat captains, deckhands, pilots, tanker men, and much more.
"They should know how to handle their selves and know what they're looking at,” Chatlosh said. “The difference between a kleat and a bit or a barge and a boat, they're going to have that knowledge in their head before they leave this class."
Chatlosh said it's important to have these young people trained and ready to contribute to the growing maritime industry in Southeast Texas.
"Coming out of school and you get your training here, these companies are waiting at the door for you to go to work for them with a bonus in their hand and it's crazy," Chatlosh said.
Lamar State College Orange will offer another maritime training session open to students and the public Thursday night from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.