Welfare Training Academy

Seafarers’ Welfare Training Academy
Program Overview and Position Descriptions

The maritime industry is a pivotal, vibrant, and dynamic one – in the Bay Area and throughout the world. By 2030 the ocean economy will be worth $3 trillion.  Rapid advances in technology and innovation are reshaping the maritime industry. The types of skills required for the maritime ocean workforce are, and will be, changing over the next several years.  

Partly due to digitalization, decarbonization and other developments, fewer people will be directly working upon the seas, but human crews onboard cargo ships and established maritime occupations will be around for the foreseeable future.  


A healthy, thriving maritime industry depends upon the welfare and well-being of the seafarers who navigate the giant vessels across the ocean waters. Without the dedication, commitment, and professionalism of seafarers, the whole fabric of global trade as we know it would fall apart.

Maritime welfare organizations, like Seafarers Ministry of the Golden Gate at The International Maritime Center [faith-based and secular], provide the practical services and support that enhance the well-being and promote the human rights of the all-important seafarers.  

Seafarers of all ages and nationalities work an average of 80 hours a week (plus overtime) to bring us these necessary goods and as an international population, are often exploited. Work on board ships can be isolating, and seafarers are at a much higher risk for depression, divorce, and suicide.

Although the types of issues and concerns affecting ship crew members may change, the need for the offerings of maritime welfare organizations – a listening ear and a welcoming face, access to free transportation, high-speed Internet, pre-paid phone cards and a comfortable place to relax and unwind for those who are at sea for long stretches of time – will always remain essential.


Cultivating a new generation of career professionals and leaders for the maritime sector is a key objective of SMGG’s Strategic Action Agenda for 2025 [adopted in 2021]. TOMORROW CORPS is SMGG’s signature program effort to pursue its goal.  

TOMORROW CORPS is a new maritime welfare training program specifically designed to equip  a new generation with the skills and knowledge needed to support maritime welfare. Additionally, maritime welfare training and service exposes young people to the various sectors and emerging career opportunities within the maritime industry. Even as the maritime industry moves to keep up with the pace of technological change, hiring and keeping talent is a challenge.  

TOMORROW CORPS is especially committed to encouraging young people from communities of color, and young women, to explore the growing opportunities in the maritime industry. 

Each year, TOMORROW CORPS will conduct training academies that focus on a different segment of the maritime industry.  The first of these academies is the TOMORROW CORPS Seafarers’ Welfare Training Academy, a professional training experience designed to equip participants with a wide variety of competencies in seafarers’ welfare that could be used for future positions in seafarers’ welfare and maritime careers, as well as professional positions in any sector.  

The Academy runs June 5 – August 31, 2023, and will be held at The International Maritime Center, Berth 40, Port of Oakland, 4001 7th Street, Oakland CA  94607. 

 Academy participants will have daily opportunities to develop skills in the promotion and delivery of seafarers’ welfare services.  Participants will also attend the North American Maritime Ministry Association  Conference in Seattle WA, August 1-3, 2023.    

The Academy will include online learning sessions with experienced seafarer and maritime welfare professionals and leaders; followed by individual assignments to practice the skills and concepts discussed.

The program will also include three days of learning and networking in Seattle WA, August 1-3, 2023, for the annual conference of the North American Maritime Ministry Association [NAMMA], where participants will meet with seafarers’ welfare professionals from the United States, Canada and Mexico. The conference will also include professional development workshops with government agency officials, legal experts, and representatives from the International Maritime Organization. .

This inaugural academy will have a cohort of three paid interns:  

Seafarers’ Ministry Intern [two positions]

The Seafarers’ Ministry Interns [SMI] will link seafarer welfare and well-being services to Christian and other faith traditions as a framework for providing welcome, hospitality, care and support to visiting seafarers in Bay Area ports. Likewise, the Ministry Intern will introduce and promote seafarers’ issues and concerns within their faith community.   

Seafarers’ Advocacy Intern [one position]

This internship will provide insight for students who have interest in advocacy for seafarers/human rights and ocean care. The Advocacy Intern examines the existing framework that defines and protects seafarers rights; identifies current issues and concerns that require investigation or advocacy; promotes awareness of seafarers rights concerns to secular and civic organizations and, where appropriate, organizes advocacy efforts to secure support for proposals and policies to remedy rights violations and deficiencies.