ST. LOUIS – Today, port workers, longshore workers, truckers and others at The Port of Metropolitan St. Louis 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.
St. Louis is the 80th port to begin enrollment. Currently, approximately 130,000 people have enrolled for a TWIC. Nationwide, more than 1 million workers with unescorted access to secure areas will apply for TWIC by the end of 2008.
"TWIC 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 with the St. Louis Port Authority for helping to make one of the world's most advanced interoperable biometric systems a reality."
"A tremendous amount of planning 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," said Coast Guard Capt. Sharon Richey. "The Coast Guard is committed to working closely with TSA and our local industry partners during the enrollment and compliance phases of the TWIC to assure a successful transition into the program."
Workers at the Port of St. Louis 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 Metropolitan St. Louis: St. Louis is the nation's third-largest inland port, as well as the country's northernmost port with ice-free access year round. The port connects St. Louis via the Mississippi, Illinois, and Missouri river system with New Orleans and international waterways. St. Louis waterways offer more than 100 docks and terminal facilities, and 32 million tons of freight are handled annually.