NORFOLK, Va. - Twelve people will spend eight weeks training to qualify for careers at sea.
The Mid-Atlantic Maritime Academy is now offering a Maritime Boot Camp, starting in July.
Camp officials asked the applicants why they want a career at sea and many said it’s a way to provide for young families, break the poverty cycle and move out of dangerous neighborhoods.
"I've always wanted to see the world and make a career out of it and just take care of my two daughters," Ty Ballance, who was accepted into the camp explained. "Most of the opportunity where I come from - people don`t get this too often."
With current U.S. mariners starting to retire, officials say there will be a need for nearly 70,000 new mariners by 2020.
"What we're positioning ourselves now with boot camp is to train people in the entry level positions, so that they`ll be able to get on the ships and work their way up," Academy President Capt. Ed. Nanartowich said.
The camp focuses on four weeks of classroom and basic training and a four week internship with a maritime company.
Once students have completed the program, they’ll have all the credentials needed for immediate employment aboard ship and experience on a commercial vessel.
The academy's director say they're in talks to start another maritime camp in August.