Blog

Welcome to the SMART Center blog! Bookmark this page and sign up for our RSS feed (using a news aggregator service like Feedly) to learn more about what we're doing to develop a robust, highly skilled, and 21st century-trained technician workforce for our nation's maritime and transportation industry.

  • HI-TEC a Hit!
    August 05, 2013

    I recently had the pleasure of attending the annual HI-TEC (High Impact Technology Conference) in Austin, Texas. HI-TEC is a national conference on advanced technological education where secondary and post-secondary educators, counselors, industry professionals, trade organizations, and technicians can update their knowledge and skills. The conference is an opportunity to learn from other ATE Center, community colleges, and companies and what they're doing to fill America’s technical workforce pipeline. My staff and I also enjoyed sharing with conference attendees what the SMART Center is doing to engage, educate, and equip the next generation of technicians for our country's maritime and tr... read more

  • BAE Systems on Cutting-Edge with New Technology for Naval Warfare
    July 09, 2013

    BAE Systems is a major employer and leader in the maritime and transportation industry. The company employs thousands of middle-skill and highly-skilled technicians in a wide variety of technological positions including weapon research and development (R&D). BAE Systems was just awarded a $34.5 million contract from SMART partner the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to develop a new "electromagnetic railgun." This new weapons system is part of the Navy's Innovative Naval Prototype (INP) program and will enable sailors to defend U.S. assets from a much greater distance. The maritime and transportation industry is critical to the success of our nation's military and it presents an ideal second c... read more

  • "No Girls Allowed" Message Doesn't Apply in Maritime Industry
    July 08, 2013

    The recent article "No Girls Allowed: Nerd Stereotype Means Fewer Female Engineers" raises an excellent and timely message for educators and parents. In the article, author Kasey Panetta highlights how the popular TV sit-com "The Big Bang Theory" may inadvertantly turn girls off to pursuing a technical occupation because it portrays the female scientists on the show as "nerdy, white, and not very social." Unfortunately that stereotype may be reinforcing current gender trends we see in the workplace. According to National Science Foundation (NSF) data, women make up just 28% of the total number of scientists and engineers in science and engineering fields and when divided by the total number ... read more

  • Virginia Vocational Incentive Scholarship Program (VVISP) Renewed to Help Maritime Registered Apprentices
    June 28, 2013

    The Virginia State Legislature approved a $300,000 scholarship fund renewal for employees of shipbuilding and ship repair participating in company-sponsored registered apprenticeship programs. The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) created the Virginia Vocational Incentive Scholarship Program for Shipyard Workers (VVISP) pays for apprentices' apprenticeship related instruction (ARI) at Tidewater Community College (TCC), the SMART Center's host school. As a result of the SMART Center's work with TCC maritime registered apprentices now earn college credit for their ARI. Apprentices completing the program will earn at least one career studies certificate (CSC) and can "stack... read more