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Will serve as a hub for M&T success, regionally and in the nation

TCC President Deborah DiCroce, left, announces a new center for maritime and transportation. Portsmouth Provost Terry Jones, center, talks about the initiative, while Alabama and Washington colleges take part via satellite. Joining President DiCroce are Virginia Port Authority Deputy Executive Director J. J. Keever and Hampton Roads Maritime Association Executive Vice President Arthur Moye Jr., right, who served as guest speakers.

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – (May 3, 2006) – A new hub serving the maritime and transportation community in Hampton Roads - and beyond - is launching at Tidewater Community College, based in the home of one of the world’s greatest natural harbors.

The Maritime and Transportation Center (M&T Center) - to be housed on TCC’s new Fred W. Beazley Portsmouth Campus in the city of Portsmouth - will serve as a national resource and educational model for all aspects of the maritime and transportation industries.

Based on communication and information gleaned from its partners, the M&T Center will offer key career education and training - from industry certifications to a master’s degree. The Center, the first of its kind directed at M&T Workforce Solutions, launches at a timely juncture in global economic competition.

With almost 6,000,000 people employed in the transportation industry and over $300 billion worth of cargo moved by ship in the U.S. import and export trade, the need for cutting edge workforce is clear - and necessary - to leverage U.S. prominence in maritime and transportation. Among transportation issues, the trucking industry needs 20,000 long-haul drivers to keep up with freight demands. If the shortage persists, the American Trucking Association forecasts an 111,000-driver shortfall by 2014. From ship repair to trucking to hundreds of affiliated businesses, the need for a strong workforce pipeline has never been greater.

Prepared to serve that need, the Maritime and Transportation Center launches with 30 founding partners that cross business, government, industry, military and educational paths - all focused on a common goal of economic growth through Workforce Solutions and career preparation drawn from comprehensive knowledge of the maritime and transportation realm.

Over the next year the M&T Center will:

  • identify additional partners—regionally and nationally—for the Center

  • identify the most pressing Workforce Solutions needs in maritime and transportation industries

  • identify current education and training programs to aid M&T workforce needs

  • develop identified educational programs and

  • communicate findings with partners through information summits, the first in fall 2006.

The M&T Center’s launch partners include AMSEC, BAE Systems, the U.S. Coast Guard, Maersk Line LLC, the Hampton Roads Maritime Association, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Northrop Grumman/Newport News, ODU Maritime Institute, Virginia Port Authority, and colleges in Alabama, Florida and Washington seeking a model to use in maritime and transportation workforce planning.

Funding from the National Science Foundation has made this effort possible and the NSF counts as one of the key partners in this work.

TCC and M&T Center partners announced the launch on May 3 with comments by TCC President Deborah DiCroce, other TCC officials and leaders in the maritime and transportation industries in Hampton Roads. National partners from the west coast and the south took part via teleconference at the college’s Advanced Technology Center on the college’s Virginia Beach Campus.

For more information about the Maritime and Transportation Center, contact Terry Jones at 822-2242.


Laurie White
Media Relations

Tidewater Community College is the second largest of the 23 community colleges in the Commonwealth of Virginia, enrolling more than 37,000 students annually. The 37th largest in the nation’s 1,600 community-college network, TCC ranks among the 50 fastest-growing large community colleges. Founded in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System, the college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in the theater district in downtown Norfolk, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth and a regional Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-four percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information, visit