Tidewater Community College’s Southeast Maritime and Transportation (SMART) Center will host the 2019 National Maritime Education conference at the Norfolk Sheraton, June 9-11.
The “All Hands on Deck” conference will feature speakers and panel discussions addressing national opportunities to enhance and expand maritime training, marine technology, ship building and repair, as well as port management, workforce training and education.
Rep. Bobby Scott will make remarks at the opening session at 8 a.m. on June 10. He will be introduced by TCC President Gregory DeCinque.
Adm. Mark Buzby, MARAD administrator, will be the keynote speaker at lunch that afternoon, and John Reinhart, chief executive officer and executive director of the Port of Virginia, will speak at breakfast on June 11. Maritime leaders from K-12, community colleges, universities and industry will collaborate with MARAD, the U.S. Coast Guard and industry partners.
The SMART Center is the only National Science Foundation Advanced Technology Education center in Virginia solely focused on developing a pipeline of credentialed skilled technicians in the maritime and transportation industry. The center works as a regional educational and economic model for preparing a sustainable, globally prepared workforce in maritime transportation occupations, a rapidly growing career field due to industry growth and an aging workforce.
Through established career pathways, students move from the college to an industry apprenticeship to a journeyman’s card. Industry credentials can progressively lead to an associate degree and even a bachelor’s degree.
“This conference will bring maritime partners together to share information and help us plot the course for needed maritime education both locally and nationally,” said Thomas Stout, dean of Maritime and Skilled Trades and principal investigator for the SMART Center. “TCC is a leader in maritime education and this conference will help to highlight the partnership among TCC, maritime partners and the National Science Foundation.”
The SMART Center is housed in the Advanced Technology Center on TCC’s Virginia Beach Campus.