HISD maritime students get real-world tools ($50K each) for in-demand jobs ($70K-120K a year)

More than 460 students in the four-year maritime programs at Stephen F. Austin and Jack Yates high schools are getting a sneak peek at two state-of-the-art crane and forklift simulators that students will be able to use for training starting next school year.

The two $50,000 simulators were installed last week at Austin High School, and students in grades 9-12 will experience real-life scenarios that become more challenging as they move to the next grade.

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One of the simulators could provide a certification students could receive before they graduate from high school, said Austin maritime teacher John Buchanan. “With the Port of Houston so close by, there is a large need for workforce,” said Buchanan. “Our mission is to get the students excited and to give them an idea of what the career in the maritime industry could be.”

“After high school, students can pursue their license and start a job with an average salary of $70,000,” said Yates High School maritime teacher John Rydlund. “If they become a pilot on a tugboat, they could make $120,000. There are many opportunities in this industry and the wages are high.”

The maritime program is in its fifth year at HISD, providing training and educational experiences preparing for a range of high-growth, high-demand jobs in the maritime industry. With one of the busiest ports in the world, the Port of Houston, minutes away from both campuses, the maritime program immerses students in a career focused education that provides skills for jobs in the thriving industry.

According to the Port of Houston, a 2012 study by Martin Associates says ship channel-related businesses contribute 1,026,820 jobs throughout Texas, up from more than 785,000 jobs cited in a 2007 study.

Special training such as the maritime program helps fulfill HISD’s mission to empower students to be college and career ready and to supply highly skilled and well trained local workers for the vast and varied Houston job market.

The Austin program will have 180 slots for ninth-graders next year, but availabilities won’t be known until middle schools have submitted their eighth-graders’ course selections. The Yates program will have approximately 50 slots available for ninth graders, with the possibility of additional availability once a Maritime/Logistic Teacher is hired. To learn more about the four-year maritime course, visit Buchanan’s webpage at http://austinmaritime.webs.com/, which also features a contact tab. For the Yates program, contact jrydlund@houstonisd.org