BUCKSPORT — Maine Maritime Academy’s Center for Professional Mariner Development (CPMD) is marking its one-year anniversary in Bucksport this month. The center opened in February 2020, shortly before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Despite implementing a three-month pause in live instruction, CPMD has successfully hosted over 300 enrollees and 91 classes since.
“We are pleased to have had such a good first year,” said William J. Brennan, president of Maine Maritime Academy. “It was not without its challenges, but our staff and instructors never wavered in their dedication to continuing to provide excellent training and professional development opportunities for students from around the country.”
During the programming pause, CPMD adapted 11 courses to a hybrid remote-learning model. The new format allowed for continued enrollment and ensured that the center was able to provide ongoing support to maritime industry professionals and to MMA alumni.
CPMD specializes in providing high-quality training to those in the maritime industry. Many courses are designed to develop or maintain skillsets that are required by international and U.S. Coast Guard regulations; others are highly sought after to provide subject matter expertise in a variety of maritime-related fields.
CPMD’s offerings range from introductory courses, such as Fishing Vessel Safety, to advanced curricula, such as Inert Gas Systems and Crude Oil Wash, which provides a fundamental understanding of the shipboard systems associated with tanker operations. Fast Rescue Boat, where trainees learn to handle and take charge of rescue boats in adverse weather and sea conditions, is another popular hands-on course. CPMD began offering tutorial classes for harbor pilot exams this winter.
CPMD has also recently expanded its instructor cadre and is looking forward to the installation of both a suite of maritime operations simulators and live firefighting equipment in the coming months.
“The response to CPMD has been very positive, both locally and within the larger maritime community that we serve,” said Brennan. “The center will continue to grow and evolve with the needs of our market, but our mission to provide continuing education of the highest quality will not change.”
The Center for Professional Mariner Development is located on the site of the former Verso Paper Mill, at 24 Mariner Way in Bucksport. The building has been completely renovated by the Maine Maritime Academy facilities team and features smart classrooms, meeting spaces and a conference hall.