Maritime | 253

Maritime 253 logo and arial photo of Port of Tacoma

A Maritime Skills Center serving learners throughout the South Puget Sound

The jobs and livelihoods of people around the world depend on ships and shipping, much of it through our Tacoma and greater Pierce County region. To be successful in building a maritime workforce to meet future demands, the Port of Tacoma and Tacoma Public Schools share an interest in the development of a maritime skills center, Maritime|253.

In March 2023, the Port of Tacoma and Tacoma Public Schools entered into an Interlocal Agreement to provide a framework to engage in a master planning and site assessment process to support the development of a port-owned property that will include a new maritime skills center.

What is a skills center?

A skill center is not a high school, it is a regional Career and Technical Education (CTE) education center that serves high school students from multiple school districts. Students take advanced CTE courses at the skills center in addition to courses at their high school required for graduation. While Tacoma Public Schools will operate Maritime|253, students from districts across Pierce County will have the opportunity to enroll in courses with additional access to career-focused programming. Courses and participation will be offered at no cost to students.

The curriculum is in development with industry advisors with four focus pathways that include skilled and technical trades, transportation and logistics, technology and innovation, and sustainability.

Tacoma Public Schools acknowledges that we are on the traditional ancestral and historical lands of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians.

We honor with gratitude the land itself and the Puyallup Tribe. This acknowledgement serves as a first step in honoring our nearest tribal neighbors and partners who have inhabited this region since time immemorial, and whom we give thanks for allowing us passage to their lands. We shall intentionally create inclusive and respectful partnerships that honor Indigenous cultures, histories, identities, and sociopolitical realities.