TRAVERSE CITY — Substantially increased federal funding for Northwestern Michigan College’s Great Lakes Maritime Academy (GLMA) will allow NMC to upgrade the Great Lakes campus harbor this summer, as well as recapture nearly $200,000 in fuel costs for the training ship State of Michigan.
The 2018 omnibus spending bill approved by Congress last month included $1 million for the Academy, double the funds GLMA received in 2017, said superintendent Rear Adm. Jerry Achenbach. The money will enable NMC to improve the ship’s docking area by installing mooring bollards and mooring fenders. Bids for the work are due next week. Work will take place between May and August, while the ship is out of the harbor on its annual summer training cruise.
In addition, Achenbach said GLMA expects to be reimbursed for all fuel costs incurred on the upcoming cruise. He estimated the State of Michigan would use 98,000 gallons of diesel priced at about $2 per gallon, resulting in federal reimbursement of $196,000.
“The federal funds are crucial to the Academy and key to our being able to ensure the program at Northwestern Michigan College’s Great Lakes Maritime Academy maintains U.S. Coast Guard approval,” Achenbach said. “While these funds will primarily be used to upgrade the moorings at the harbor, over the past several years we have used federal funds to substantially upgrade our deck and engine simulators and upgrade the equipment in the vessel’s galley. The omnibus spending bill also includes funds that ensure Academy cadets who volunteer to serve in the U.S. Navy after graduation will continue to receive an annual stipend of $8,000.”
NMC is grateful to its congressional delegation, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters and Congressman Jack Bergman, for their continued support of the Great Lakes Maritime Academy in securing these funds.
GLMA is hosting an open house/ship tour from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 21. Maritime cadets will host free tours open to the public. NMC offers a bachelor’s degree in maritime technology, the first community college bachelor’s degree available in the state. Find out more about the Academy at nmc.edu/maritime.
Release Date: April 9, 2018
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Rear Adm. Jerry Achenbach