MIAMI - Port and long shore workers, truckers and others at the port of Miami today will begin to enroll in the Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program. The program's goal is to ensure that any individual who has unescorted access to secure areas of port facilities and vessels has received a thorough background check and is not a security threat.
"The start of enrollment here is one more step in our effort to prevent persons who are a threat from gaining access to secure areas of port facilities," said Maurine Fanguy, TWIC program director for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). "We appreciate the support of our partners at the Port of Miami for helping to make one of the world's most advanced interoperable biometric systems a reality."
The Port of Miami will be followed in the coming weeks by several additional ports, including Port Everglades on February 8th, bringing the total number of fixed enrollment sites to 72 nationwide. Ultimately, the program will be rolled out to 147 fixed enrollment centers and will vet more than 1 million workers through 2008.
"The implementation of TWIC will strengthen access control and personnel identification at our nation's seaports. The biometric-based identification credential will provide transportation workers here in the Port of Miami with rapid and reliable access to port facilities," said Coast Guard Capt. of the Port Karl Schultz, who is responsible for enforcing TWIC requirements. "We encourage workers to enroll early, ensuring their ability to access the port after the enforcement date has been set."
A tremendous amount of planning and work has been done collectively by TSA, the Coast Guard, port owners/operators, employee groups and other stakeholders in preparation for this critical phase of the TWIC program to assure a successful and smooth transition.
Workers at the Port of Miami are able to pre-enroll for TWIC online at the Coast Guard's Homeport site, http://homeport.uscg.mil. Pre-enrolling speeds up the process by allowing workers to provide biographic information and schedule a time to complete the application process in person. This eliminates waiting at enrollment centers and reduces the time it takes to enroll.
The TWIC Enrollment Center is located at 975 North America Way, Miami, FL. 33132. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Port of Miami is among America's busiest ports and recognized throughout the world with the dual distinction of being the Cruise Capital of the World and the Cargo Gateway of the Americas. The Port contributes more than $16 billion annually to the South Florida economy and helps provide direct and indirect employment for more than 110,000 jobs.