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Delaware County Community College, Serving Delaware and Chester Counties

The College Recognized Nationally as a Center of Excellence in Education and Training for the U.S. Maritime Industry


(Delaware and Chester Counties, PA • May 19, 2021)—Today, Delaware County Community College became one of only 27 institutions nationwide to be selected by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) as a Center of Excellence for Domestic Maritime Workforce Training and Education (CoE). The designation recognizes the College for preparing students for careers in the U.S. maritime industry. MARAD will work with the CoE designees to help advance recruitment of students and faculty, enhance facilities and award student credit for military service. The designees also potentially could receive assistance in the form of surplus equipment or temporary use of MARAD vessels.

“The CoE designation recognizes the tremendous value that your institution provides to our nation by developing and preparing students for demanding careers in our vitally important maritime industry,” said Acting Maritime Administrator Lucinda Lessley, in a letter to College President Dr. L. Joy Gates Black. “Your graduates have made outstanding contributions to the industry over the years which is an excellent testimonial to the superior academic and professional education and training they received while attending Delaware County Community College.”

“Our collaboration with these institutions represents an important expansion of MARAD’s role in supporting maritime education and will help form pathways to good-paying American jobs in our nation’s maritime industry,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

In selecting the College for the 2021-2022 CoE program year, MARAD cited the College’s long history of working with various segments of the Philadelphia maritime industry offering essential education, training and apprenticeships in welding, shipbuilding, foundry, rigging, safety, crane operations, industrial skills leadership, transportation and logistics, cargo and casting, and molding. MARAD also cited the College’s numerous union and business and industry partnerships, including the Collegiate Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development, an innovative, non-profit partnership consisting of Drexel University and the five regional community colleges: Community College of Philadelphia, Bucks County Community College, Delaware County Community College, Montgomery County Community College and Camden County College in New Jersey.

“This is exciting news for our students and our institution. It is a testament to the solid partnerships the College has forged over many years with business and industry, union, federal, state and community leaders to the benefit of thousands of students and the Greater Philadelphia region,” said College President Dr. L. Joy Gates Black, who also chairs the Collegiate Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development.

In selecting the College, MARAD also noted the College’s recently created Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) as a way of sharing diverse ideas and creative expressions among students and fostering a climate of respect in the broader community. “Housed within the ODEI is the Center for Equity and Social Justice, which expands the dialogue beyond the College to the broader community and helps dismantle systems of racism and social injustice,” says MARAD.

Dr. Gates Black conceived the vision for ODEI’s Center for Equity and Social Justice in summer 2020 as a catalyst for community engagement, education and enlightenment around issues of inequity and social justice. The Center has hosted many free, community-centered, discussions on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Authorized under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2018, MARAD’s CoE program is designed to assist the maritime industry in gaining and sustaining a well-trained labor force while enhancing diversity and inclusion in the industry. The CoE designees include community colleges and training institutions located in 16 states and one U.S. territory. “The CoE designations recognize the high standard of maritime education and training provided by the designated community and technical colleges and maritime training centers. These institutions play pivotal roles in our nation’s maritime industry by providing the training and skills students need to begin and advance careers afloat and ashore,” said Acting Maritime Administrator Lucinda Lessley.

For more information, see www.maritime.dot.gov/education/maritime-centers-excellence.

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