On Thursday, October 25 in Houston, 200 guests from the maritime community joined the Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) at the St. Regis Houston for the Maritime Training Benefit Luncheon. The Luncheon raised over $133,000 in support of SCI’s programs serving mariners, including maritime training.
SCI welcomed Rear Admiral Paul Thomas, Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District, USGG, as the keynote speaker. RADM Thomas is responsible for Coast Guard operations spanning an impressive 26 states including the Gulf of Mexico coastline from Florida to Mexico, the adjacent offshore waters and outer continental shelf, and the inland waterways of the Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois and Tennessee River systems. He spoke about his vision and priorities for his tenure as Commander, including working closely with the maritime community to ensure the readiness and responsiveness of the US Coast Guard units to everyday as well as extraordinary demands.
Proceeds from the Luncheon benefit SCI’s programs serving mariners including maritime education programs, which provide world-class training for professional mariners in Houston, TX and Paducah, KY. SCI’s Center for Maritime Education (CME) trains hundreds of mariners each year providing a range of coursework in the classroom and in highly advanced simulators that enhances the level of professionalism and safety on the nation’s waterways and coastal areas. These first-rate opportunities combine with SCI’s exceptional chaplaincy services to give mariners a comprehensive support system.
CME recently completed comprehensive infrastructure overhaul of its Houston and Paducah training facilities. In addition, it has expanded e-learning offerings in response to industry demands. SCI expects the e-learning user count to double from 4,000 to 8,000 starting in January with the upgraded platform that provides intuitive user interface, improved reporting and supports training on mobile devices. CME recently received its ISO 9001 Certification, recognized by the USCG and Quality Systems Standard. It became the first maritime training center in the United States to receive this certification, significantly strengthening SCI’s multi-faceted maritime education program.
As part of SCI’s commitment to pastoral care and strengthening the human factors on the water, SCI has led international efforts to address mariner wellbeing and mental health in routine and extreme situations.
SCI thanks attendees at the Houston Maritime Training Benefit Luncheon for their support of these initiatives.