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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia (TX-29)

Media Contact: Robert Julien (DC): Email:; Cell: 202-227-0330

HOUSTON, TX — Yesterday, Congresswoman Sylvia R. Garcia (TX-29) and Congressman Brian Babin (TX-36) filed H.R. 7456, which would create a grant program for community and technical colleges offering exceptional training programs for maritime industry professions. The bill would also authorize $200 million nationwide to fund the grant program. The bill would directly impact San Jacinto College, which has campuses in both Congresswoman Garcia and Congressman Babin’s districts.

“Maritime industry jobs are a critical part of our nation’s economy, and an essential part of Houston’s economy. Yet research has shown that there may soon be a shortage of maritime industry workers,” said Congresswoman Garcia.

“San Jacinto College is playing a vital role in educating our next generation of maritime industry professionals. I am happy to work with Congressman Babin, and our other original cosponsors, to support exceptional maritime industry training programs, such as those offered at San Jacinto College,” added Congresswoman Garcia.

“The Maritime Center of Excellence at San Jacinto College is a state-of-the-art facility and program. I am truly proud to represent such an establishment in Southeast Texas and sponsor legislation that will help provide opportunities to our nation’s maritime workforce, while strengthening America’s trade and national security in the process,” added Congressman Babin.

The bill is also supported by Roger Guenther, Executive Director of Port Houston; Vinny Pilegge, Chairman of the Greater Houston Port Bureau; Bob Mitchell, President of the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership; and Capt. Robert Thompson, Presiding Officer for the Houston Pilots.

“We are incredibly grateful to Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia and her colleagues who have sponsored this legislation,” said Dr. Brenda Hellyer, Chancellor at San Jacinto College. “The work that we do to train the maritime workforce is critical to the economy of our region and along the Texas Gulf Coast. The establishment of this grant funding will allow us to provide training to the next generation of mariners to keep our region and nation at the forefront of the maritime industry.”

Congresswoman Garcia and Congressman Babin were joined by a bipartisan and geographically diverse group of original cosponsors, including Rep. Don Young (R-AK), Rep. Anthony G. Brown (D-MD), and Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS).

Click here for the bill text.

Congresswoman Sylvia R. Garcia was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2018, becoming the first Latina ever to represent the Texas 29th Congressional District. She serves on the House Judiciary and Financial Services Committees.