SOURCE: TSA

December 13, 2007 11:25 ET

Albany Port Workers Begin Enrollment for Federal Port Security Credential

ALBANY, NY--(Marketwire - December 13, 2007) - Today, port and longshore workers, truckers and others operating within the Port of Albany 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 during the rest of 2007 and 2008.

"The start of enrollment today 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, the TWIC program director for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). "We appreciate the support of our partners at the Port of Albany for helping to make one of the world's most advanced interoperable biometric systems a reality."

Over 30 ports have begun enrollment since the program began Oct. 16. Ultimately, fixed enrollment centers will be in place at 147 ports along with mobile enrollment centers at dozens of other locations as needed.

"TWIC will be a crucial part of our multi-layered risk-based approach to maritime security," said Capt. Bob O'Brien, commander of Coast Guard Sector New York. "It will strengthen security and access control to the port and on thousands of other maritime-related facilities and vessels." Coast Guard Sector New York has worked closely with the maritime industry, including waterfront facility operators, licensed mariners and port representatives, over the past year in preparation for TWIC enrollment.

Workers at the Port of Albany 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.

The Port of Albany TWIC enrollment center is located in the 102 Smith Blvd, Albany, N.Y., 12202. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.