CINCINNATI – Today, port workers, longshore workers, truckers and others at the Port of Cincinnati 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.
Nationwide, more than 1 million workers with unescorted access to secure areas will apply for TWIC by the end of 2008.
"The start of enrollment 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 Cincinnati for helping to make one of the world's most advanced interoperable biometric systems a reality."
By the end of the week, Cincinnati will be one of 77 ports to begin enrollment since the program began Oct. 16, 2007. Ultimately, fixed enrollment centers will be in place at 147 ports along with mobile enrollment centers at dozens of other locations as needed.
"TWIC is an important component of our country's homeland security system," said Coast Guard Capt. Hung M. Nguyen, commander of Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley. "Its implementation is a huge undertaking, but the safety and security improvement for our maritime community makes it especially worthwhile."
Workers at the Port of Cincinnati 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 each individual.
About the Port of Cincinnati: The Port of Cincinnati is comprised of 26 miles of waterways along both banks of the Ohio River and is the fourth largest inland port in the U.S. Each day nearly 200 barges travel through the port carrying commodities that include petroleum, crude materials, manufactured goods, food and farm products. Approximately 4,000 jobs annually are attributed to transportation activities at the Port of Cincinnati.