SOURCE: TSA

December 13, 2007 15:04 ET

Tulsa Port of Catoosa Workers Begin Enrollment for Federal Security Credential

TULSA, OK--(Marketwire - December 13, 2007) - Port and longshore workers, truckers and others at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa 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.

The Tulsa Port of Catoosa was selected to serve as an enrollment site because it is conveniently located for the more than 300 port employees and vessel operators and hundreds of transport truck drivers and plant service contractors in Oklahoma covered by maritime security regulations. Nationwide, more than 1 million workers with unescorted access to secure areas will apply for TWIC 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 Tulsa Port of Catoosa for helping to make one of the world's most advanced interoperable biometric systems a reality."

Tulsa Port of Catoosa is among the first ports 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 Coast Guard Lt. Eric Carrero. "It will strengthen security and access control to the port and on thousands of other maritime facilities and vessels."

Workers at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa 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.

Tulsa Port of Catoosa is one of the largest, most inland river ports in the United States. The port is a 2,000-acre industrial park and multi-modal shipping complex. There are 63 industrial facilities within the port that employ approximately 4,000 people involved in manufacturing, distribution and processing of products ranging from agricultural commodities to consumer goods.