Article

Louisiana pilots launch state diversity initiative


published on 24 January 2022 82 -

Pilotage is often considered the pinnacle of a seaman's profession, as it requires a high degree of skill in ship handling and navigation. It also requires good nerves of steel: pilots have to make tough decisions in difficult traffic situations and take calculated risks every time they are promoted to the pilot ladder.

Accordingly, it is the highest paid job in the American shipping industry, with typical annual earnings between $400,000 and $700,000, depending on location. For the select few who work their way up, it is a life-changing career opportunity that offers more earning potential than that of a corporate lawyer, college president or surgeon.

In a new initiative supported by the State of Louisiana, the New Orleans-Baton Rouge Steamship Pilots Association (NOBRA) and Crescent have committed to increasing their efforts to invite all parishes to participate in maritime careers to expand the future applicant pool for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"Last legislative session, river pilots committed to making African Americans and other minorities aware of the growing number of career opportunities in Louisiana's maritime industry," said river pilot Captain Lee Jackson in a statement. "To keep up with this industry, it's important to cultivate additional talent, and pilots will lead the way."

NOBRA and Crescent have partnered to launch the Open Waters Initiative, a new programme to connect communities of colour and women to the maritime industry. "We believe we are positioning our state for collective impact and economic vitality by providing equitable opportunities for diverse communities and small and historically underutilised suppliers," the associations said in a joint statement.
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