Original article by Linda Loyd, staff writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer

Pennsylvania has awarded a $385,314 grant to a consortium of five area community colleges and Drexel University to train new and existing port workers in transportation, logistics, and warehousing skills.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry grant will be used for “job-specific skills training,” said Delaware County Community College president Jerry Parker, who chairs the non-profit Collegiate Consortium that includes Bucks, Camden, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia community colleges and Drexel.

The training will be offered at, or near, ports in the region. To enroll in the training, call the Collegiate Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development, at 215-218-3886.

Maritime owners, operators, trade associations, and labor unions will be involved as “subject matter experts” in the program, according to an emailed statement.

The training program will be offered for 18 months, beginning Jan. 1, and comes at a time the Delaware River shipping channel is being deepened from 40 feet to 45 feet to accommodate larger ships, and the expanded Panama Canal allows larger cargo vessels to come to the East Coast.

Port construction projects at the Southport marine terminal at the eastern end of the Navy Yard in South Philadelphia, and the Port of Paulsboro marine terminal in New Jersey will expand regional port capacity, the colleges said.