Community and technical colleges across the nation have been directly impacted by hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, wildfires, volcanoes and other natural disasters. College campuses have served as shelters for residents displaced during disasters, and as command centers for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other responding agencies.
Community colleges have the potential to become close partners with federal, state and local governments to promote best practices for disaster preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery. Community and Technical College Consortium institutions are working to advance these opportunities through new national initiatives.
A multi-state advanced manufacturing workforce consortium initiative was inspired by a Presidential Advisory Committee recommendation to increase investment in community college-based manufacturing workforce training.
The consortium initiative includes community and technical colleges from a number of states seeking to expand training capacities in manufacturing. The consortium advocated for a new national manufacturing and engineering education program and federal funding.
Businesses use Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), or drones, to take photos and video, for security, and to conduct inspections and surveys, among many other purposes. A booming sector of drone software and hardware vendors throughout the United States is addressing the needs of a long list of industry users in agriculture, land management, energy, and construction, and other areas.
There is a shortage of technically trained drone technicians and pilots, and this shortage is expected to worsen as industry demands for usage of drones continues to grow. Operating and maintaining autonomous flight vehicles requires specialized education and training. Community and technical colleges can help meet the nation’s requirements for a well-trained workforce to operate drones. In response, a newly enacted federal law drafted on behalf of Community and Technical College Consortium institutions authorizes creation of the Community and Technical College Centers of creation of the Community and Technical College Centers of Excellence in Small Unmanned Aircraft System Technology Training program.
Community and technical college engaged in education and training of workers for maritime and marine technology career positions – both “afloat” and “ashore” – can help to secure the talent pipeline for America’s maritime workforce. The Domestic Maritime Centers of Excellence Act, drafted on behalf of Community and Technical College Consortium institutions, was enacted during the 115th Congress. The new program provides federal assistance to community and technical colleges to develop and expand maritime and marine technology technical education and training programs. For more information, visit www.maritimecolleges.org.
Community and technical colleges are increasingly involved in agricultural programs – including education and training for agribusiness, aquaculture, horticulture, precision agriculture, livestock, dairy, forest and natural resources management, viticulture and enology, and other areas. Two-year public colleges are training workers for agricultural workforce positions that require technical training and education, but not necessarily a baccalaureate degree.
A multi-state consortium initiative is promoting community and technical college centers of excellence in agribusiness workforce training.