Local Firm, Universities Partner to Create Central Pennsylvania Geospatial Technology Center
June 21, 2012
(Harrisburg, Pa.) Gannett Fleming, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, and Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) have partnered to create the Central Pennsylvania Geospatial Technology Center (GTC). Students, faculty, and professionals from the three organizations will offer their expertise and resources to geospatial technology projects for the public. The partnership will focus on providing substantive and practical knowledge for students, while providing valuable services for the greater central Pennsylvania area.
The GTC partnership brings together three innovative leaders in the fields of geographic information systems (GIS) and global positioning system (GPS) technologies. Headquartered in Harrisburg, Pa., Gannett Fleming, through its geospatial technology division, GeoDecisions®, is a global leader in the design and development of innovative geospatial solutions and applications. Harrisburg University offers the only four-year degree program in geospatial technology in the region. HACC offers an associate degree in GIS and a certificate program for those with a degree that are looking for job advancement. It is anticipated that more organizations who are stakeholders in the geospatial technologies industry with ties to central Pennsylvania will engage with the center throughout time.
“Gannett Fleming is pleased to be partnering with Harrisburg University and Harrisburg Area Community College to form the Geospatial Technology Center,” said Robert M. Scaer, P.E., president and chief operating officer of Gannett Fleming. “This is a terrific opportunity to work closely with students in all aspects of running and implementing geospatial technology on large comprehensive projects. Providing students with real-life experiences in a cutting-edge field will give them an edge in competing for future jobs.”
The GTC will operate online and offer practical, real-world assignments for students that will supplement a comprehensive program of academic content. “This center will become a nucleus of experiential learning for students studying geospatial technology and will create a pipeline of career-ready graduates to address the immediate needs of the region’s geospatial technology workforce,” said Albert Sarvis, assistant professor of geospatial technology at Harrisburg University.
Students in HACC’s degree and certificate programs in GIS have already completed some projects for local nonprofits. “We are fortunate to have a very dynamic GIS program and outstanding faculty,” said Ron Young, HACC provost and vice president of academic affairs and enrollment management. “The students have completed work with some organizations, and the GTC is a welcome enhancement to the curriculum. The added opportunities will prepare students further and add to their qualifications. Employers will know their new hires have practical experience that matches their needs.”
Leaders of the GTC will focus on content areas and activities, including professional development, project-based experiential learning, project management, research and technology development, student/professional networking, and advocacy and outreach. The center will serve as a platform for raising awareness and understanding of geospatial technology at student, professional, and political levels. As a regional resource for this rapidly growing profession, it will serve as a hub for coordinating with other successful geospatial technology organizations across the U.S.
For more information, please contact Judy L. Hricak, CPSM at 717.763.7211, x2624 or via email.