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Members of VA Delegation recommend TCC be designated a Domestic Maritime Center of Excellence

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Washington, February 13, 2018 | comments

Members of VA Delegation recommend TCC be designated a Domestic Maritime Center of Excellence

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-1) was joined by U.S. Senators Warner and Kaine, Representatives Taylor, Scott, and McEachin in writing a letter to the Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao, requesting that Tidewater Community College (TCC) be designated a Domestic Maritime Center of Excellence. This designation will allow TCC to partner with the Maritime Administration (MARAD) to receive critical resources and technical assistance to support the maritime workforce further advancing Virginia’s focus on maritime jobs.

“Serving the 5th largest port in North America and the largest Naval Base in the world, TCC has a longstanding history of meeting the maritime workforce needs in the Hampton Roads region. TCC offers Maritime and Logistics programs in Inside Machinist, Maritime Logistics, Maritime Technologies, Maritime Welding, Marine Electrical, Marine Mechanical, Pipefitter, and Truck Driving,” the members wrote.

TCC is home to the Southeast Maritime and Transportation (SMART) Center which is focused on developing credentialed technicians in the maritime and transportation industries. Each year the college also enrolls 2500 registered apprentices in collaboration with several local, regional and national business and industry partners.

“[We] request you give full and fair consideration to designate Tidewater Community College a Domestic Maritime Center of Excellence, as we believe it is uniquely capable of helping secure our nation’s talent pipeline for the domestic maritime industry,” the members concluded.

The maritime industry in the Commonwealth of Virginia accounts for a substantial proportion of jobs and wages for Virginians and supports critical national priorities, specifically commerce and defense. The Domestic Maritime Center of Excellence Act, introduced by Rep. Wittman and Rep. Green (D-TX) is intended to advance the capabilities of two-year community and technical colleges to assist the federal government and industry in securing the talent pipeline for domestic maritime industry jobs. This legislation was signed into law in December 2017 as part of the FY2018 NDAA.

The full letter is included below and can be viewed here.

The Honorable Elaine Chao
Secretary of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20590

Dear Madam Secretary:

We write today to respectfully request your consideration of Tidewater Community College (TCC) as a designated Domestic Maritime Center of Excellence pursuant to the Domestic Maritime Centers of Excellence Act, signed into law as part of the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.

Serving the 5th largest port in North America and the largest Naval Base in the world, TCC has a longstanding history of meeting the maritime workforce needs in the Hampton Roads region. TCC offers Maritime and Logistics programs in Inside Machinist, Maritime Logistics, Maritime Technologies, Maritime Welding, Marine Electrical, Marine Mechanical, Pipefitter, and Truck Driving.

Tidewater Community College is also home to the Southeast Maritime and Transportation (SMART) Center. The SMART Center is the only National Science Foundation Advanced Technology Education (NSF ATE) center in the U.S. solely focused on developing a pipeline of credentialed skilled technicians in the maritime and transportation industry. The college enrolls 2500 registered apprentices and students each year in Maritime programs in collaboration with several local, regional and national business and industry partners including, for example, AMSEC, BAE Systems, Newport News Shipbuilding, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Oceaneering, Seaward Marine Corporation, Tecnico Corporation, and the Virginia Ship Repair Association.

For these reasons, we request you give full and fair consideration to designate Tidewater Community College a Domestic Maritime Center of Excellence, as we believe it is uniquely capable of helping secure our nation’s talent pipeline for the domestic maritime industry.

Thank you for your consideration.


Congressman Rob Wittman represents the 1st District of Virginia. He serves on the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Armed Services Committee, where he is the Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.

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