Workforce development funding essential for economy, national security

THE PRIVATE-SECTOR ship repair and shipbuilding industry contributes more than $6 billion to Virginia’s economy, providing roughly 40,000 high-paying jobs and more than $2.3 billion in annual wages. Our workers earn an average annual income of $81,531.

These numbers are significant, and they illustrate the importance of Virginia’s ship repair and shipbuilding industrial base to our economy, work force and national security.

The Virginia Ship Repair Association represents 269 companies across Virginia, all of which have a hand in building and repairing ships, either as shipyards, subcontractors, suppliers or service support. These companies represent a crucial component of the economic health of the commonwealth and the country — but they cannot continue to effectively do so without a strong, stable, prepared workforce.

Parents and educators generally understand there are many pathways to career success and economic security — most of which do not require a four-year college degree. For many individuals, work in a trade is the way to happiness, prosperity and enormous personal success. Consider: Skilled trades workers exiting an apprenticeship typically earn $5,000 to $6,000 more per year than their college-graduate counterparts, and tend to do so without accruing the burdens of student loan debt along the way.

Click here to read Bill Crow’s complete column published on The Virginian-Pilot website. 

About Timmothy Boettcher

Business Career Originally recruited in 1998 as a software engineer to design and develop cutting edge technology for new products, Mr. Boettcher assumed leadership for Research and Development and then Engineering before being named President of Realityworks in 2005. Responsible for total operations, he has driven significant understanding of market opportunities, gatekeepers, and funding in education, healthcare, and public service markets; bolstered production and supply chain efficiencies; acquired and launched new age technology; rebuilt leadership competencies; led growth into the Company’s over 65% US school system and over 90 country presence; and led the implementation of the Company’s ESOP to build on the societal mission of the Company and further the family oriented culture to reward employees for their success in achieving the mission and efforts to drive growth. Focused on high market growth, he has led the Company’s turnaround and achieved double-digit top line growth simultaneously with dramatic profit and cash flow improvement. Mr. Boettcher brings more than twenty years of engineering, product development, and global operations experience in education, advanced technology, manufacturing, and distribution industries. Prior to joining Realityworks, he held positions at Cray Research, a leading manufacturer of the world’s fastest supercomputers and Wal-Mart Distribution, the world’s leader in distribution and logistics. Professional & Community Activities Mr. Boettcher is passionate about building effective connections between our countries workforce development system, economic development programs, and education infrastructure. A solid connection between these systems is needed to ensure our youth and workforce are prepared to be global competitive and ready to take on the challenges and needs faced by industry. In delivering on this passion Mr. Boettcher: - has presented workforce development strategies on the national level for Harvard’s Pathway’s to Prosperity, U.S. Department of Labor, and at many Career and Technical Education events. - established and currently chairs the Industry Workforce Needs Council (IWNC), a national level group of industry leaders that works directly with education to increase support for Career and Technical Education in the country in alignment with industry needs. - served on the Board of Directors for the Association for Career and Technical Education. - chaired the Western Wisconsin Workforce Development Board (Chair) to help establish and lead regional workforce development initiatives. - established and led the Innovation Foundation of Western Wisconsin (Chair) to help bring critical C-level talent to start-ups and small to mid-sized companies to help them grow. - served on the Board for the Eau Claire Economic Development Corporation (President). - and provides guidance to institutions like the International Business Programs Advisory Council of the University of Wisconsin (Eau Claire). Mr. Boettcher also holds seven U.S. and foreign patents.

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