TEXAS CITY, TX, January 24 / MARKET WIRE/ -- Port workers, longshoremen, truckers and others at the Port of Texas City will begin enrolling today 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 in 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 Texas City for helping to make one of the world's most advanced interoperable biometric systems a reality."
Texas City is among more than 50 ports that have begun enrollment in the nationwide program. Ultimately, TSA will establish fixed enrollment centers at 147 ports and will deploy mobile enrollment centers to dozens of other locations as needed.
"TWIC will be a crucial part of our multi-layered risk based approach to maritime security," said Coast Guard. Cmdr. Brian Hall. "It will strengthen security and access control to the port and on thousands of other maritime facilities and vessels."
Workers at the Port of Texas City are able to pre-enroll for TWIC online at www.tsa.gov/twic or 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.
Founded in 1893, the Port of Texas City/Texas City Terminal Railway Company is the eighth largest port in the U.S. and the third largest in Texas, with water borne shipments exceeding 78 million net tons.