OMSA forms new Workforce Development Committee

Written by Marine Log Staff
OMSA President Aaron Smith

OMSA President A"We’ve detailed how a foreign company—by their own admission—used a Chinese-built vessel with foreign crew members to transport cargo within U.S. waters. That’s illegal.”

The Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA) has announced the formation of the OMSA Workforce Development Committee and requested that its members nominate professionals to the committee. Like much of the international maritime industry, OMSA members are working to secure a sufficient number of mariners for their current operations, increased activity in traditional offshore markets, and the new offshore wind market. This challenge has become increasingly difficult as the industry confronts the impacts of the global pandemic as well as regulatory, societal, and market changes.

In response, the OMSA Board of Directors unanimously adopted a resolution creating the new committee, which is structured to empower and leverage the knowledge of industry experts to create meaningful and lasting change for the industry. It will be composed of industry experts nominated by OMSA members and officially approved by the OMSA board. Each committee member will represent a segment of the maritime industry. For example, vessel operators with fleets of 10 vessels or less will have a dedicated member. Additionally, at least one member of the committee will hold a current merchant mariner license. As a whole, the committee will be charged with crafting recommendations to the OMSA Board of Directors for policy positions and strategies to increase the number of men and women working in the U.S. maritime industry and to ensure that these Americans have an achievable pathway to further their careers.

“The foundation of the Jones Act industry is the hardworking men and women that build and operate U.S.-flagged vessels,” said OMSA President, Aaron Smith. “Currently, there are too many barriers preventing these mariners from advancing their careers or returning to the industry after the downturn, I look forward to seeing what solutions the committee can formulate to cut this red tape and reestablish the hawsepipe. Further, the committee will work to find ways to attract and retain the next generation of professional mariners, something I think that everyone in the industry understands we need to work on.”

“My family has been involved in the offshore vessel industry since the beginning,” said OMSA board chairman Tony Cheramie, vice president of L&M Botruc Rental, LLC. “Through this involvement, I have seen how this industry can provide a good family-supporting career for mariners. We need to do more to tell that great story, get the next generation into our industry, and ensure mariners have the opportunity to advance. I think the OMSA Workforce Development Committee will do just that.”

All OMSA members will be able to attend meetings of the committee and participate in subcommittees and working groups established by the committee.

For more information contact OMSA staff at www.offshoremarine.org.

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