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Published: Saturday, 10/4/2008

Union says it is shutting Toledo training center

The union representing licensed ship officers is closing its Toledo training center and moving all classes to a similar facility in Florida.

Yesterday was the last day of courses at the American Maritime Officers' Simulation, Training Assessment, and Research (STAR) Center in the union's Great Lakes headquarters on the Maumee River, according to the union Web site.

"The consolidation of the two schools at the site in Dania Beach [Fla.] will provide a significant savings in operating costs to the Safety and Education Plan and maximize efficiency in operations while affording AMO members and contracted companies the benefits of sharing best practices and access to broader training opportunities," the Web site notice read.

An answering service for the union's Toledo office said yesterday evening that no person was designated to receive media inquiries after hours. Information about how many union staff were affected by the closing was not available.

Union trustees made the decision to close the Toledo center after "a thorough review of the operating costs of STAR Center in Toledo, the training requirements on the Great Lakes, and the availability of space at STAR Center in Dania Beach," the Web site said.

The closing follows by just five years the union's $10 million outlay to build a 60-room dormitory at Water and Walnut streets to house visiting mariners while they received training here. Union officials estimated at the time that between 1,000 and 1,500 union members received training in Toledo annually.

The STAR Center facility includes a ship's bridge simulator, engine room simulator, radar room, Global Marine Distress Safety System room, and multipurpose classrooms.



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