Preparing for the future utilizing the past.
The initial efforts at standardized curriculum development were started with a post-Katrina Department of Commerce grant in 2006. Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana Manufacturing Extension Partnerships (MEPs) joined together with Gulf Coast shipyards to form the Gulf States Shipbuilders Consortium (GSSC). The group focused on the development of standardized curriculum and accelerated training model that would prepare individuals to work as entry-level shipfitters and provide graduates of the program with a portable credential. After considerable effort and three years of development GSSC rolled out the Shipfitting Boot Camp. The program has been very successful with a 100% rate of employment for graduates.
GSSC quickly realized that the need for standardized curricula, training, and portable credentials was not limited to the Gulf Coast. Based on the success of this program, the organization decided to expand the curriculum and credentialing effort from a regional to a national effort. GSSC launched what was termed The Lighthouse Campaign to raise funds to move development and distribution to a national platform. NMEC was established in March of 2012 with 12 founding members representing the shipbuilding and ship repair industries to oversee and fund the development of a national workforce development system.
NMEC is a collaborative, multi-regional, industry-centered national organization whose membership is made up of industry leaders/decision makers. Our mission is to lead the industry in the development of a standardized and credentialed set of craft training that will change the landscape of the maritime workforce. To work from a common set of definitions, we are defining exactly what each craft does, documenting its required skill sets, and based on those skill sets, developing curriculum and assessments that ensure craftsmen who are certified through the system can perform to industry standards.