Our congratulations go to the University of Alaska Southeast Ketchikan campus, which has been recognized by the U.S Department of Transportation’s Marine Administration as one of 27 “Centers of Excellence” across the nation that prepare students for maritime careers.

Home to the University of Alaska Southeast Maritime Training Center, UAS Ketchikan has been providing maritime training for more than three decades now.

We’ve been impressed with the Ketchikan campus’ leadership and staff’s active efforts to seek ways to provide the education needed to enter and advance in the maritime workforce. It’s terrific that a Ketchikan institution can help train local people for jobs that are available in this island archipelago.

The new designation will allow the federal Department of Transportation to work toward cooperative agreements to assist in recruiting faculty and students, in addition to improving facilities, awarding student credit for military service, and “potentially receive assistance in the form of surplus equipment or temporary use of MARAD vessels,” according to the DOT announcement earlier this month.

“The (Center of Excellence) designations recognize the high standard of maritime education and training provided by the designated community and technical colleges and maritime training centers,” Acting Maritime Administrator Lucinda Lessley said in the prepared statement. “These institutions play vital roles in our nation’s maritime industry by providing the training and skills students need to begin and advance careers afloat and ashore.”

We couldn’t agree more with that description, as it pertains to UAS Ketchikan.

Congratulations again to UAS Ketchikan, and best wishes as it continues to provide quality maritime education here in southern Southeast Alaska.