The Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program is starting to take hold at the nation's ports. Enrollment recently began at the Port of Wilmington, Del., with the ports of Corpus Christi, TX and Tacoma, Wash., among others, quickly following suit. At Corpus Christi, the second port to participate in TWIC, some 6,000 workers are expected to enroll at the local Safety Council Office. Corpus Christi is the seventh largest port in the U.S. in terms of tonnage movement. "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). Tacoma will be the first in its region to sign on with TWIC, which requires a biometric identification credential that must be produced by workers for unescorted access to secure areas at all U.S. ports. Also in the next wave of ports to participate are Baton Rouge, La.; Beaumont, TX; Honolulu, HI and Oakland, Calif. They will be followed by Chicago/Calumet, Ill.; Houston, TX; Port Arthur, TX; Providence, RI and Savannah, Ga. TSA estimates that all U.S. port workers will have TWIC I.D. cards by October of 2008. The program is expected to involve more than one million workers, including longshoremen, truckers and port employees. Ultimately, fixed enrollment centers will be located at 147 ports, in addition to mobile centers at dozens of other locations as needed, TSA said.
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