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Drexel’s Goodwin College Scores a Grant to Train Philadelphia’s Port Workers

December 2, 2016

Philadelphia’s ports will have no shortage of trained workers thanks to a new program by Drexel University and the region’s community colleges.

In November, a Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry grant awarded more than $385,000 to the Collegiate Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development, of which Drexel’s Goodwin College of Professional Studies is a member, to fund training and professional development for workers in the region’s ports.

Beginning in January, the project will teach skills in computer literacy, workplace diversity, fork lift operations, welding and more in a training program designed by maritime industry experts. Goodwin will train workers in topics such as attitude/work ethic, problem solving, professionalism and teamwork, delivered on site at ports and shipyards.

“This program offers the kind of industry-related training that Goodwin is known for,” said Tim Gilrain, executive director of Goodwin College of Professional Studies and a board member on the Consortium. “The project will provide pathways for workers throughout the region as Philadelphia’s ports continue a period of tremendous growth.”

The training addresses an influx of new jobs as the deepening of the Delaware River shipping channel allows access to larger ships, the Port of Philadelphia begins construction of the Southport Marine Terminal Complex and further expands Packer Avenue and Tioga marine terminals, and the Port of Paulsboro marine terminal nears completion in New Jersey.

Goodwin’s relationship with the Consortium encompasses more than 20 years of workforce development partnerships. In addition to Drexel, the Consortium includes Bucks, Camden, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia community colleges, providing “a comprehensive, coordinated approach to developing a highly skilled workforce for the region,” according to the Consortium’s website.