LocalNews Briefs

U.S. Dept. of Transportation Designates OCC Waterfront Campus ‘Center of Excellence’

NEWPORT BEACH— Orange Coast College has been named one of 27 Centers of Excellence for Domestic Maritime Workforce Training and Education (CoE) for 2021 by the United States Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration.

The announcement, made in late May, came on the heels of OCC’s announcement that its Newport Beach sailing facility has been renamed The Orange Coast College Waterfront Campus.

“Orange Coast College’s professional mariner and sailing programs have long been the standard of excellence in maritime training and education,” said OCC President Angelica Suarez in a press release. “This CoE designation formally recognizes the tremendous value OCC provides in preparing students for successful careers in the nation’s maritime industry.”

The CoE designation opens the door to The Maritime Administration (MARAD) entering into cooperative agreements with designated institutions to help advance recruitment of students and faculty, enhance facilities, award student credit for military service, and potentially receive assistance in the form of surplus equipment or temporary use of MARAD vessels.

“We’re looking forward to this new partnership with MARAD,” said OCC Waterfront Campus Director Sarah Hirsch in a press release. “The professional mariner program at Orange Coast College’s Waterfront Campus is in a growth phase with new facilities and technology coming on-line in July, and the visibility and support from this high-profile designation comes at the perfect time.”

OCC’s Newport Beach Harbor facility is finishing construction on a significant expansion, including a $22 million maritime training center connected to the harbor-side facility by a skyway bridge over Pacific Coast Highway. Construction is scheduled to be complete in Summer 2021.

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