July 7, 2005: Aurora, Colo. — The Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA) announced that it has been awarded a $700,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to conduct a study of workforce readiness for jobs in the geospatial sector. The study will identify the needs, challenges, and priorities in building and strengthening the geospatial workforce. The Association of American Geographers (AAG), a nonprofit professional association based in Washington, D.C., will have a significant role in supporting the effort.
The grant comes as a result of President Bush’s High Growth Job Training Initiative, a collaborative effort to help team people with the jobs that are needed. The initiative is a strategic effort to prepare workers to take advantage of new and increasing job opportunities in high-growth, high-demand, and economically vital sectors of the American economy. The High Growth Job Training Initiative has identified the geospatial sector as one of 12 that is projected to have far-reaching impact on the U.S. economy.
GITA will partner with universities, geospatial vendor and user organizations, and other nonprofit, trade, and educational associations to build the needed education, employment, and economic development capacity to meet the geospatial industry workforce needs.
GITA Executive Director Bob Samborski said, “We are absolutely thrilled with this award, which represents an opportunity to literally shape the geospatial industry. Our partnership with AAG is a key component of this effort, as we jointly represent the two major constituencies that have the most at stake: the academic institutions that have the responsibility for providing the education and direction to prospective geospatial industry workers, and the utilities, government agencies, and private sector companies that will employ them. It’s an ideal combination of resources, experience, and talent that will ultimately benefit those existing and future workforce professionals who choose geospatial technology as their life’s work. We are eager, excited, and ready to begin to make a real difference.”
AAG Executive Director Doug Richardson said, “The AAG is excited to be a key player in this Department of Labor project to meet critical national workforce needs. We look forward to working with GITA and DOL to create a program of lasting value to employers, students, educators, and prospective employees. The AAG places great emphasis on the quality and sustainability of the knowledge resources and educational programs that we develop, and we look forward to contributing to the high-growth employment needs of the geographic technologies field for many years to come.”