November 27, 2007 09:00 ET

Baltimore Port Workers Begin Enrollment for Federal Port Security Credential

BALTIMORE, MD--(Marketwire - November 27, 2007) - Port and longshore workers, truckers and others at the Port of Baltimore today began enrolling 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 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 Baltimore for helping to make one of the world's most advanced interoperable biometric systems a reality."

Baltimore is the 13th port to begin 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 is an essential tool used to strengthen security and access control at the Port of Baltimore," said Coast Guard Capt. Brian Kelly, Port of Baltimore. "It is part of our multi-layered risk based approach to maritime security and will be used at thousands of maritime facilities and aboard vessels."

Workers at the Port of Baltimore are able to pre-enroll for TWIC online at or the Coast Guard's Homeport site, 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.

Since its founding in 1706, the Port of Baltimore has been a gateway to the world. Excellence in exporting has always been a driving force for the Port. In 2007, the Maryland Port Administration received the Presidential "E" Award for excellence in exporting, becoming the 23rd port organization in the U.S. to win the highly acclaimed recognition and only the fourth port to win the award twice. The Port of Baltimore is currently ranked first in the U.S. for handling roll on/roll off cargo and is ranked first for importing forest products. As an economic indicator, the Port of Baltimore generates $2 billion in business revenues. Approximately 128,000 jobs in Maryland, including 19,000 direct port jobs, are linked to the Port of Baltimore.