SOURCE: TSA

December 28, 2007 16:27 ET

Duluth-Superior Port Workers Begin Enrollment for Federal Port Security Credential

DULUTH, MN--(Marketwire - December 28, 2007) - Port and longshore workers, truckers and others at the Port of Duluth-Superior today 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 remainder of 2007 and next year.

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

Including Duluth-Superior more than 40 ports 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 is a crucial part of our multi-layered approach to maritime security, which will strengthen security and improve access control measures to port facilities and vessels nationwide," said Coast Guard LT Aaron Gross. "Over the past several months, USCG Marine Safety Unit Duluth has been conducting extensive outreach to the maritime industry to help prepare for the transition to the new TWIC program requirements."

Workers at the Port of Duluth-Superior 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 Duluth-Superior is the largest tonnage port on the Great Lakes and ranks 16th in the nation. The port moves over 47 million tons of bulk and break-bulk cargo annually, with commodities ranging from iron ore to coal, limestone to grain, general cargo to cement. Duluth-Superior is recognized worldwide as the designated route for shippers of heavy-lift and oversized cargo to and from North America.