Agreement will help cultivate local science, technology, engineering workforce
The College of Southern Maryland and Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) have signed an Education Partnership Agreement to develop a pipeline for students to advance from academic studies to employment within national security industries in Southern Maryland.
“It is absolutely critical to our national vitality to meet our workforce challenges,” said Rear Adm. Steven Eastburg, NAWCAD commander, to those gathered for the signing at Patuxent River Naval Air Station.
“We recruit workers from around the country,” said Eastburg. “Sending people out to 90 different colleges is not always efficient. We are looking at growing our own workforce right here in the tri-county area.”
“As the need for science and technology professionals grows in Southern Maryland, this partnership will provide local students with access, training and opportunities to fill these jobs. Students involved with the base here are more likely to make a commitment to work here when they graduate,” said CSM President Brad Gottfried in referencing statistics that indicate as many as 94 percent of students attending community colleges within Maryland remain in the state rather than relocating out-of-state.
The partnership will develop the framework for interaction between CSM students and faculty, area elementary, middle and high school students and teachers, and NAWCAD scientists and mentors. The initiative will begin to identify students with an interest in science while they are in elementary school, and will provide learning and internship opportunities for them through college.
“It is mind-boggling to see the state-of-the-art facilities that our students would be involved in here at NAWCAD,” Gottfried said as he addressed the audience. The partnership will expose students to the research facilities on base where they can see the relevance of the scientific fields they are studying, he added.
With discussions ongoing between Patuxent River Naval Air Station and the University of Maryland to bring mechanical and aerospace engineering programs to Southern Maryland, Gottfried said, “A student doesn’t have to leave Southern Maryland to get a technical degree. It is a model for the country.”
The agreement will create the basis for information exchange between CSM and NAWCAD and will provide access to base facilities and technology beyond what would normally be available to CSM students and faculty.
Among the possibilities addressed in the agreement, NAWCAD may transfer or lend defense laboratory equipment to CSM, involve CSM faculty and students in ongoing laboratory research projects, offer visits, tours, and demonstrations to CSM students, and provide summer and sabbatical positions at NAWCAD for CSM faculty and staff. In addition, the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Fellows will be working with CSM faculty on projects and experiences for the students.
For information on Educational Partnership Agreement, contact Education Partnership Coordinator Kathryn Glockner at 301-342-2281, Kathryn.firstname.lastname@example.org.