December 07, 2007 12:35 ET

Indiana Harbor Port Workers Begin Enrollment for Federal Port Security Credential

HAMMOND, IL--(Marketwire - December 7, 2007) - Today, port workers, long shore workers, truckers, and others working at the Port of Indiana Harbor 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 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 Chicago for helping to make one of the world's most advanced interoperable biometric systems a reality."

Over twenty ports have begun enrollment since the program began Oct. 16. By the end of the week twenty-four ports will be actively enrolling workers. Ultimately, established 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 Coast Guard Commander Richard Reinemann. "It will strengthen security and access control to the port and on thousands of other maritime facilities and vessels." Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan and Marine Safety Unit Chicago have worked closely with the maritime industry, including waterfront facility operators, licensed mariners, and port representatives, over the past year in preparation for the TWIC enrollment roll-out.

Workers at the Port of Indiana Harbor 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.

The Port of Indiana Harbor TWIC enrollment center is located at 200 Russell Street, Suite 110, Hammond, IL. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.