SOURCE: TSA

January 04, 2008 11:00 ET

New Orleans Port Workers Begin Enrollment for Federal Port Security Credential

NEW ORLEANS, LA--(Marketwire - January 4, 2008) - Port and longshore workers, truckers and others at the Port of New Orleans are now able 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 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 Port of New Orleans for helping to make one of the world's most advanced interoperable biometric systems a reality."

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.

"A tremendous amount of planning has been done collectively by TSA, the Coast Guard, port owners/operators, employee groups and other stakeholders in preparation for this critical phase of the TWIC program," said Coast Guard Capt. Lincoln Stroh. "The Coast Guard is committed to working closely with TSA and our local industry partners during the enrollment and compliance phases of the TWIC to assure a successful transition into the program."

Workers at the Port of New Orleans 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.

Workers are now able to enroll for TWIC at several Louisiana ports, including New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles and Port Fourchon.