VIRTUES of a Workforce for the Next Industrial Revolution

The Ray C. Anderson Foundation recently awarded a grant to Georgia Tech for a project called VIRTUES (Vertical Integration of Research, and Technical, Undergraduate, and graduate Education for Sustainability).  Headed by Michael Chang, Deputy Director of the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems, and Mary Hallisey-Hunt, Director of Special Projects for the Strategic EnergyInstitute, the leadership team also includes faculty and administrators from Georgia Southern University and the University System of Georgia, and industry partners from across the state.

Like Georgia Tech, most universities now have sustainability initiatives that work internally with their faculty and students.  Likewise, private and public organizations have their own education and training programs related to sustainability and energy.  Each has been successful within its niche and with its own constituency, but to date there has been no direct connection between any of these programs.  As one unit of the system graduates mechanical engineers educated in sustainability and another unit produces mechanics trained in sustainability, it is often left to employers and the invisible hand of the economy to coordinate their practice and knowledge, and to fill any gaps. VIRTUES will improve the state’s workforce development capabilities by producing an educational “roadmap” for creating the type of vertically integrated workforce that is required for the “Next Industrial Revolution.”

In 2013, VIRTUES will host four workshops around the state of Georgia with the purpose of identifying gaps in the current higher educational system and needs for the future.  The workshops will invite participation from all the universities and colleges in the state, in-state private sector employers especially in manufacturing, state and regional economic development offices, and state, county, and municipal officials.

Read more BBISS Big Ideas Stories.
See the Ray C. Anderson Foundation press release here.
See the Georgia Tech news story here.

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Brent Verrill, Communications Manager, BBISS