The following is the text of a news release from the SMART Center:
(VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.) — The SMART (Southeast Maritime and Transportation) Center and its host institution Tidewater Community College (TCC) have been recognized by the Council on Virginia's Future as a regional example of best practices for demand-focused work force solutions.
The Council on Virginia's Future — in partnership with the Governor's Office and the Virginia Board of Workforce Development — asked regions to submit information on their efforts to close work force skill gaps for occupations within a key industry sector. The SMART Center was recognized for its work in implementing effective career pathway development and career awareness outreach plans.
"We're thrilled to be recognized for the work we've done in conjunction with TCC and leading employers in the maritime and transportation industry to create more effective pathways for students, veterans, women and re-careering workers," said SMART Center principal investigator and Executive Director Barbara Murray. "The industry is at a critical tipping point with the majority of its current work force nearing retirement and a shortage of educated, credentialed, skilled workers to fill their shoes. By partnering with community colleges to expand awareness of the industry throughout the state and the entire Southeast region we're seeding new academic programs and as a result more high school and community students are choosing to enter a career pathway for future success in the industry."
Some of the SMART Center's most notable career pathway development achievements since its $2.1 million National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (NSF ATE) grant in 2010 include development of the Maritime Technologies A.A.S. pathway with TCC, creation of a new synchronously-delivered work force training model in emerging technology for academic credit, and a career outreach-focused website and materials for educators, guidance counselors, and career coaches to share with high school and community college students.
More information about the SMART Center can be found on its website: www.maritime-technology.org. More information about the council's work force assessment project can be found on its website: http://vaperforms.virginia.gov/PriorityAssessment/Workforce/demand-FocusedSolutions.php.