SOURCE: TSA

November 28, 2007 10:51 ET

Port of Cleveland Workers Begin Enrollment for Federal Security Credential

CLEVELAND, OH--(Marketwire - November 28, 2007) - Port workers, longshore workers, truckers and others at the Port of Cleveland will begin enrolling tomorrow 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.

Thousands of workers are expected to enroll at the TWIC enrollment center in Cleveland located at 3100 East 45th Street, Suite 226. Nationwide, more than 1 million workers with unescorted access to secure areas will apply during the rest of 2007 and in 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 Cleveland for helping to make one of the world's most advanced interoperable biometric systems a reality."

"Implementation of TWIC is an important step towards enhancing the safety and security of the Port of Cleveland," said Adam Wasserman, President and CEO of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority. "We know this program will manage any risks to the homeland at our maritime facilities and will allow the maritime community to reliably provide the services needed by the local industry to keep our regional economy moving forward."

Cleveland is the 18th port to begin 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 will be a crucial part of our multi-layered risk based approach to maritime security," said Lt. Commander Linda Sturgis, Commanding Officer, Marine Safety Unit - Cleveland, United States Coast Guard. "It will strengthen security and access control at ports and on thousands of other maritime facilities and vessels."

Workers at the Port of Cleveland 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.

For more information regarding TSA, please visit our Web site at www.tsa.gov.