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May 1, 2008
Alaska Maritime Newsletter
Making Maritime Connections Across Alaska
In This Issue
TWIC Enrollment Center Update
Corporate Payment for TWIC
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TWIC Enrollment Center Updates

Well folks, TWIC has arrived in Alaska!
I don't have time at the moment to provide a "standard" newsletter with all the various topics I'd like to cover, but I felt it necessary to get a TWIC update on the street, and hopefully answer a few questions I've been getting lately:
Here are some quick enrollment center updates:
  • The Juneau fixed enrollment center officially opened on April 30th.  It is located in the "Bone & Joint" clinic building (upstairs) at 3200 Hospital Drive.  Hours: 8:00a-4:30p.[More Info]
  • The Kodiak mobile enrollment center will be open from May 5-June 6.  It will be located at the Shelikof KPD satellite office at 405 Marine Way (next to Harbor office).  Hours: 8:00a-4:30p.[More Info]
  • The Anchorage fixed enrollment center will be open May 8th.  It will be located at 619 E Ship Creek Ave.  Hours: 8:00a-4:30p.[More Info]
  • The Valdez & Nikiski fixed enrollment centers are still scheduled to be opened in May or June.  I'll pass the dates along as they're announced.
  • The Petersburg mobile enrollment center, originally scheduled to open on May 5th, has been delayed pending receipt of additional enrollment workstations.  I'll pass the new dates and a firm location on as soon as they're determined.
  • The proposed Wrangell mobile enrollment center is still being worked on, but will be delayed along with Petersburg (as these were going to share the same timeframe).
  • The Sitka mobile enrollment center is still scheduled to be open from May 19-May 30.  It will be located at Harrigan Centennial Hall.  Hours: TBD.
  • The Ketchikan mobile enrollment center is still scheduled to be open from June 16-July 18.  It will be located at the Ketchikan Harbor Office.  Hours: TBD.
  • The Craig mobile enrollment center is still scheduled to be open from June 2-June 6.  It will be located at Craig High  School.  Hours: TBD.
  • The Skagway mobile enrollment center is still scheduled to be open during the June 9- June 13 timeframe.  It will be located at the Skagway Police Department - Interview Room (hopefully none of you are familiar with this room..) Hours: TBD.
  • The proposed Haines mobile enrollment center is still being worked on, but will likely be open for a few days during the Skagway timeframe noted above.  Location and Hours: TBD.
  • The Cordova mobile enrollment center is still scheduled to be open from June 9- June 20.  It will be located at the Native Village of Eyak building. Hours: TBD.
  • The Dutch Harbor mobile enrollment center is still scheduled to be open from June 23 - July 3.  It will be located at the Grand Aleutian Hotel.  Hours: TBD.

The dates above, especially the mobile centers, are all somewhat subject to change based on workstation availability, etc.  I will do my best to keep everyone updated, but I recommend keeping up to speed by visiting the TWIC WEBSITE periodically and clicking the "Schedule" tab at the top.  Then simply enter the location you want info on.

For those of you planning to use the mobile sites listed above, please make sure you thank whoever the hosts are in your particular community.  They are all providing these sites as a community service to help lessen the burden of TWIC on Alaska's waterfront workers and mariners.
For those of you in a remote location and NOT listed as a planned mobile enrollment site above (i.e. Adak, Nome, Red Dog, etc) - don't panic yet!  The Marine Exchange is still working with Lockheed Martin to become "Trusted Agents" in the hope of being able to provide enrollment to you folks during our normal visits.  I'll keep you updated!
Corporate Payment for TWIC 
I received a couple calls lately asking for details on options companies have if they've decided to pay for their employees' TWIC cards.  Here's the deal:
  • As a reminder, there are two prices for a TWIC card:  $132.50 if a full background check is required, or $105.25 if the enrollee decides to use an existing "equivalent background check" (i.e. if they produce a current Merchant Mariner's License, Merchant Mariner's Document or CDL with Hazmat Endorsement).  A word of caution regarding the "equivalent background check" discount:  If the enrollee chooses this option, the TWIC card will expire on the same date as the MML, MMD or Hazmat Endorsement.  So in many cases it will be more cost effective to pay the full $132.50 and have a TWIC card that's good for 5 years, versus saving a few bucks and having a card that will expire in a year or two.
  • Companies desiring to pay for their employees' cards have a couple options: 1) They can provide the enrollment center with a roster of enrollees and cut a corporate check for the anticipated amount for all the enrollees (to be paid in advance). or 2) They can purchase "TWIC Debit Cards" which have been "pre-loaded" with either $132.50 or $105.25 and issue these to each employee.  This is a good option for companies having employees who will being using different enrollment centers.  To order these debit cards, visit TWICCARD.com.  Note: These cards can be used to make purchases anywhere a debit card is accepted (not only at TWIC enrollment centers).  This means that they may be used to reimburse an employee who paid out his/her own pocket for TWIC - they would simply use the card the next time they shopped at Wal-Mart, etc.
  • HELPFUL HINT: Companies choosing payment option 1 above should carefully analyze the cost benefit of having employees with MMD, MML or Hazmat endorsements select the background check discount.  Then ensure each employee understand that they will or will not accept this discount, and note it on the roster you provide the enrollment center.  The alternative to doing this homework would be to assume that every TWIC card will cost the full $132.50 and write the check accordingly.  Lockheed Martin will reconcile the "roster" upon completion and will refund any money owed to you if some of the employees chose to take the discount.  This might be easier than trying to estimate how many full price cards and discounted cards you'll have and underpay if you guessed wrong.
TWIC Deadline 
Rumors have started recently regarding the possiblity of the TWIC implementation deadline being extended.  While I assume this is certainly possible, there has been NO official notice of the deadline being adjusted.
As of today, all potential enrollees should plan for TWIC to be fully implemented (and required) on September 25, 2008.  Even if this date changes, I highly recommend that you don't procrastinate.  It may be a tough pill to swallow, but plan to be the first in line when an enrollment center opens in your area.
This is especially critical for mobile enrollment centers.  There's always the possibility that the center will close ahead of schedule if the volume of enrollees trickles down to nothing.  We want to ensure that the only reason these centers don't have business is because everyone in the community who needed a TWIC have already enrolled.

Brett Farrell
Marine Exchange of Alaska
Marine Exchange of Alaska | 1000 Harbor Way | Suite 204 | Juneau | AK | 99801