Building International Science & Technology Workforce Partnerships

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), which represents 1,200 community colleges in the United States, received funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development to promote partnerships between community colleges in the U.S. and institutions of higher education in other countries. The purpose of the project is to train people from other nations with practical skills so they can enter the workforce and contribute to their economies.

For example:

1. A two-year branch of Kent State University, OH is working with Tashkent State University (TSU) in Uzbekistan to train people to handle hazardous materials safely. In addition, an environmental technology laboratory will be established at TSU to help faculty develop courses to continue training students. The project has attracted the attention of the U.S. Department of Defense, as well as other major technology corporations such as Orincon and Lockheed Martin.  (See photos enclosed.)

2. The College of Agriculture and Technology at the State University of New York, NY works with the Universidad Technologica de Tula-Tepeji in Mexico to offer training for municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plant operators. They are enlisting the help of major corporations like Bristol Myers Squibb. This project is so important to the Mexican government that their technical university system has succeeded in convincing them to certify all training of wastewater treatment operators. (See photos enclosed.)

3. Harford Community College, MD is working with a Medical College in Moscow, Russia to educate nurses to be teachers and managers. They also hope to effect positive change in the role and status of nurses in Russia. Nurses are generally not paid very well in Russia and they are required to do a great deal of work in unsanitary conditions with outdated medical equipment.

4. Riverside Community College, CA has partnered with the University of Asmara, Eritrea to develop computer and business courses that will be linked by computer laboratories and information technology. Distance education internet, audio-tape, videotape, and broadcast technologies will be developed to offer training for jobs in both Asmara and Riverside. Both institutions will prepare a "Virtual Tour" of each other's campuses and regions via Internet links.

5. Net\Work:  An Information Technology Workforce Development Partnership has been developed between Prince George's Community College, MD and Vista University in South Africa. The project aims to train a substantially disadvantaged black population in South Africa to advance in the field of information technology. McGraw Hill has provided textbooks for this project and it will help address the  shortage of information technology professionals in South Africa.

6. St. Louis Community College, MO is working with the Ministry of Education in Guyana to develop courses to train land surveyors. This is important to Guyana to encourage private land ownership and to increase agricultural production.

7. Columbus State Community College, OH is working with the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology, Tanzania to provide training in information technology to Tanzanian leaders in the public and private sectors. They hope that the project will help increase business services to ultimately stimulate the economy.

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