gCaptain has just received the breaking news that the U.S. Department of Transportation will be shutting down the Global Maritime and Transportation School (GMATS). Sources tell us that representatives from the DOT came to the school today with the notice that as of July 2012, GMATS will be 100% shut down.
GMATS employs 30 full-time employees, including a number of single mothers, and 213 part-time employees, of which 60% are U.S. veterans, we are told. The employees were told that the Department will do everything they can to help the “transition” and said employees can start looking at USAjobs.gov website, the official job board of the U.S. government.
As a nonappropriated fund instrumentality (NAFI), it is, from what we have been told, entirely self-funded but operates on (and reimburses) the United States Merchant Marine Academy campus in Kings Point, N.Y., one of five federal service academies. Why they are shutting down the school is still unclear.
GMATS has been the official continuing education program of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy located in Kings Point, NY since 1994. Founded to meet the education and training needs of the transportation industry, the school witnessed a dramatic expansion in both size and scope of its courses and programs upon inception.
With the schools shutdown, USMMA will be the only maritime academy without a continuing education program.
UPDATE: The Deputy Director for Public Affairs for the U.S. Department of Transportation, Maureen Knightly, has sent gCaptain the following statement regarding the issue.
“The U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy are committed to creating and serving a maritime transportation system that addresses 21st century challenges. As part of this commitment and in response to specific recommendations from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Academy is taking steps to wind down the Global Maritime and Transportation School (GMATS) and determine the Academy’s role in continuing education.”
Knightly added that USMMA does offer an on-line MS degree program in Marine Engineering.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress and investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars.
We’ve started a discussion in the gCaptain forum regarding this story. Please visit to post updates and give your thoughts on this matter. Go: DOT Shuts Down GMATS! BREAKING NEWS