'At Piney Point, We Change Lives'


School's Mission Celebrated at Waterfront Christening


October 2012


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Click HERE to view photos from the 2012 SIUNA convention.

Riveting or not, an uninterrupted three-hour convention session may leave even the most enthusiastic delegates a bit weary.


So it seemed as convention personnel strolled to the waterfront for a brief ceremony following the opening day of the SIUNA convention in Piney Point, Md., on Sept. 11.


Any sluggishness quickly disappeared, however, as Paul Hall Center Trustee Tony Naccarato delivered a heartfelt, moving speech highlighting the tens of thousands of mariners who have benefited from training at the SIU-affiliated school.


The occasion was a ceremonial opening of the renovated waterfront at the Paul Hall Center – a major improvement that promises to further enhance courses available at the school, not to mention the aesthetic improvement.


“The SIU and the SIU family of shipowners and operators don’t only provide maritime skills at Piney Point; they also provide the graduates and the upgraders the tools they will need to pursue the American dream,” Naccarato said in rousing fashion. “Perhaps the motto of this school should be: At Piney Point, we change lives!”


He added that the school’s renowned entry-level program, honored recently by the U.S. Department of Labor, may be more valuable than ever.


“At a time when the middle class is struggling, Piney Point is a fountain that pours a steady stream of newly trained workers into the American middle class,” he stated. “At a time when young people are having a problem getting a foothold in our economy, we offer a helping hand and a clear path to a life of dignity, pride, and self-fulfillment. At a time, when our economy is having a problem providing many of our workers with a steady job, Piney Point and the SIU are teaching its members the skills they must have to provide a decent and secure life for their families.”


Addressing the unlicensed apprentices in the crowd, Naccarato offered encouragement and realism.


“The training program that has been developed at Piney Point during the past five decades is not for the faint of heart or for the lazy,” he said. “In order to complete the program, you must be a bright, committed, and disciplined person who is not afraid of hard work and is willing to pay the hard price for a better tomorrow. Excuses and mediocrity do not cut it at Piney Point…. There is a worthwhile reward at the end of your journey. One day you might be a captain, a bosun, a chief engineer or a chief steward bringing honor to yourself and this school. You might become the president of the SIU or CEO of Maersk Line or any of the other shipping companies that are represented here today. You might even start your own shipping line. Remember, we only give you the opportunity here; the rest is up to you.”



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