Colleges Plan Consortium to Share Knowledge
A number of colleges in the Gulf region, Alaska, and other parts of the country are
planning a consortium of institutions to share disaster prevention best practices. The
consortium would also help bolster the economy in affected areas through workforce
“Coastal community colleges not only offer training to oil spill responders and
their managers during an emergency, but they also provide the training needed by
the public to secure meaningful employment in local industries,” says Alan Sorum,
director of training at Prince William Sound Community College.
According to a draft proposal, the prospective members of the consortium “are prepared to adapt to the short- and long-term
workforce training requirements that will ensure our students are prepared for the job requirements of the recovery.
“We believe that training our citizens in the areas of renewable energy, energy exploration and production, and nuclear power
generation, as well as expanding existing workforce development training in key areas, will be fundamental to the recovery and
long-term prosperity of our coastal states,” said the organizers.
Joe May, president of Louisiana Community and Technical College System, says the idea for the consortium sprang up when it
occurred to some colleges in the Gulf region that they could learn from the experiences of others that had been through a similar
“We realized during the event that it was new to us how to deal with an oil disaster of this magnitude, but it was not new to the
people in Alaska,” May says.
Discussions about the possible formation of the group are ongoing. But it could eventually include colleges in Louisiana,
Alaska, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
“This is not a local issue, and with events like this, you really need to leverage the expertise not only across the country, but
also around the world,” May says.
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