Downtown Toledo School Brings Adult Naval Education Back to Our Riverfront
The Maritime Academy of Toledo (TMAT) has been a part of Downtown Toledo educating children grades 5-12 since 2010. TMAT helps students develop the skills they need for the next stage of their lives. The school’s hands-on curriculum blends traditional courses with specialized maritime courses, giving students a diverse education that prepares them for enrollment in a traditional or maritime college and opens a unique variety of maritime career opportunities.
Before it was TMAT, the building was the training center for the American Maritime Officers (AMO), the largest union of U.S. merchant marine officers. Now, staying true to it’s roots, TMAT has partnered with Sea School, the premier maritime training school in the country. This partnership will make a significant economic impact on the City of Toledo.
“We are proud to host Sea School, and excited to offer our high-tech virtual reality simulator to make their education as immersive as possible,” said Tom Shafer, superintendent, TMAT. “The funds will be used by the foundation for future college scholarships, to help with building expansion, to purchase supplies and equipment for students and teachers and will allow our CTE students to gain some insight by mariners in the field and to keep our foundation thriving.”
Sea School educates over 10,000 mariners each year. With this partnership, mariners from across the country will come to Downtown Toledo for continuing education courses. TMAT will be hosting some mariners within the school dormitories, and others will stay at local hotels.
TMAT was chosen because of its prime location on the Maumee River and its accessibility to the Great Lakes. In addition, Greg Kelly, Sea School’s chief executive officer, feels deeply connected to the school’s mission.
“I am passionate about what TMAT does for many of their students, which is getting them jobs, in the water, upon graduation. They have has offered us key tools and accommodations that will be of great use to our mariners in continuing their education,” Kelly said.
Some of the classes that the mariners will be taking include Able Seaman, Assistance Towing, CPR/First Aid, Auxiliary Sail and Personal Survival Techniques.
“The purpose of Sea School and its value to mariners are many. Charter Boat captains can upgrade licenses, mariners can take classes to upgrade their credentials and move up in pay-grade,” said Kelly. “Mariners have to take these classes to advance to different jobs on a vessel.”
Cindy Kerr, Executive Director of Downtown Toledo Improvement District, is excited to welcome a new business to downtown. “It’s exciting to bring back sailor education to downtown. We were founded on our riverfront and the maritime economy is very important to us. We look forward to the students enjoying our hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues.”