Alumni Newsletter

Keeping our Alumni informed of Atlantic Cape activities

ACCC Receives $1.25 Million GIS Job Training Grant

ACCC has received a $1.25 million Community-Based Job Training grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. The grant is for the GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Workforce Education Project of Southern New Jersey, a partnership between ACCC and various other area schools and colleges, community employers and organizations.

Introduced by former President George W. Bush in 2004, the primary purpose of the CBJT grants is to build the capacity of community colleges to train workers to develop the skills required to succeed in high growth/high demand industries.

“As the economy continues to struggle, and finding work grows increasingly difficult, effective job training programs must be utilized to their fullest potential to give workers a leg up on the competition,” U.S. Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo said in announcing the award.

The project will focus on the burgeoning GIS/geospatial technology field to include New Jersey’s four southernmost counties: Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Salem. GIS is used prominently in southern New Jersey in industries that are expected to grow at the fastest rates between now and 2014: government, education, health care, wholesale trade, business and professional services.

The project will target high school and college students, entry-level workers, dislocated workers, incumbent employees and ancillary users of GIS.

GIS, which touches the lives of people around the world daily, is a computer-based mapping tool that takes information from a database about locations such as streets, buildings, water features and terrain, and turns it into visual layers. The power supplies directed to homes, the patrol cars and fire trucks that keep neighborhoods safe, and the delivery trucks on the road are more efficient because of GIS. People in almost every profession, from farmers to Homeland Security, reap the benefits of this burgeoning technology.

Over the next three years, ACCC will create a GIS Workforce Education model that is relevant to the labor market in the southern New Jersey coastal region, train GIS users for geospatial industry certifications, integrate GIS education into multiple academic disciplines, and establish a pipeline for GIS education for students transitioning from high school to community college to four-year colleges and universities.

“ACCC will begin offering its first GIS course, Introduction to Geographic Information Systems, in the summer of 2009,” said Loretta Dicker, Assistant Professor, Computer Information Systems, and Project Director of the Grant.