Officials of SUNY Maritime College, Fort Schuyler, N.Y., recently joined executives of ferry operator Hornblower in a ceremony that saw the college’s navigation lab renamed the “Hornblower E-Navigation Lab.”
The naming marked both a celebration and expansion of Hornblower’s long standing partnership with SUNY Maritime College to inspire local maritime talent.
The partnership includes Hornblower crews having access for training purposes to college facilities that include its two 360-degree full-mission bridge simulators, mentorships for students to engage with Hornblower crews, and workforce opportunities at Hornblower business units including its dining and sightseeing cruise operations, Statue Cruises and NYC Ferry by Hornblower.
Many Hornblower employees are also Maritime College graduates.
The Hornblower E-Navigation Lab is used for instructional exercises and applied learning for deck license students in their sophomore and junior year. It has a total of 20 workstations, 10 on each of the lab’s two floors. Each station mimics the bridge of a ship, allowing students to work individually or as a team of two at each station. Instructors control simulation exercises, which promotes an interactive class experience and students gain exposure to the electronic navigation equipment on a vessel’s bridge.
Students are also taught the importance of promoting safety through communication by being introduced to interacting with other vessels. The lab is essential to the license program and helps students focus and familiarize themselves with key equipment, one piece at a time.
“We are extremely grateful to have Hornblower as a valued industry partner,” said Rear Admiral Michael Alfultis, Maritime College President. “Their generous donation demonstrates a commitment to supporting the maintenance and modernization of these sophisticated navigation simulators and helps ensure that our students graduate with the training and skillset they need to operate vessels safely.”
“Having a presence in such a prestigious institution allows our team to be surrounded by rich maritime history and a strong network of maritime professionals,” said Richard Paine, Hornblower’s Regional Director for HSSQE and a SUNY Maritime College alumnus. “We are honored by this truly special naming recognition by SUNY Maritime, and we look forward to continuing our commitment to the school, its programs and its students.”
SUNY Maritime College has over 1,800 students, including over 360 from New York City, many of whom learn about maritime operations in the classroom. Students and cadets also have access to internship and career development opportunities with the Hornblower team.
Hornblower is beginning to hire additional crew for NYC Ferry in anticipation of upcoming route launches the next two years, including the addition of a stop near the college in Throggs Neck.