Middle-Skilled Workforce Competencies in Environmental Health and Disaster Management
The 2010 Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico oil spill off the coast of Louisiana underscored the interconnectedness of the environment, energy extraction, and human health. Academic programs that prepare students to work in these fields, however, often focus on one area of specialty or discipline (e.g. production technologies, environmental public health, or nursing). Community colleges educate an array of middle-skilled workers, including those employed in offshore oil production, marine operations, and nursing. In Louisiana, there is no academic program that prepares future middle-skilled workers in a) technical skills in oil production, marine operations, or nursing and b) practical knowledge in environmental health and disaster management.
The Center for Gulf Coast Environmental Health Research, Leadership and Strategic Initiatives and Fletcher Technical Community College (FTCC) in Schriever, LA received an exploratory grant from the Gulf Research Program of the National Academy of Sciences to develop a set of core competencies in environmental health and disaster management targeting the middle-skilled oil production, marine operations, and nursing workforces. The objectives of this project are to a) convene an expert panel to establish the core competencies, b) validate the proposed competencies, and c) develop educational products derived from the competencies.
The competencies have been written and validated and the project team is now preparing a peer-reviewed journal article for publication. After the article is published, the competencies will be available on this website.