World Aquaculture - June 2023

WWW.WAS.ORG • WORLD AQUACULTURE • JUNE 2023 27 increasing knowledge or abilities. However, all three were considered important. 2) What technical knowledge do employees need? Response themes include water quality, biology, broodstock management, solids management, farm design and aquaculture regulations. 3) What skills do employees need? A few of the numerous skills identified included plumbing, welding, equipment operation and repair, boat operations and repair, knot tying and general construction. 4) What abilities do employees need? The two most prominent themes included strong oral and written communications, leadership development, critical thinking, marketing, employee reliability and work ethic. 5) What new partnerships need to be created for workforce programs? These partnerships included farmer and commercial fishermen associations, community colleges, technical schools, high school aquaculture programs, marine trade groups, workforce development offices, military veterans and traditionally underserved communities. 6) How do we better integrate diversity, equity, inclusion and justice into workforce programs? The themes included establishing a baseline of underserved populations involved in aquaculture, language accessibility, diversity training, working with non-US citizens, partnering with tribes and minority organizations, engaging minority-serving institutions, active recruitment from underserved communities, wrap-around services for students and use of innovative technology that promotes accessibility. 7) What should be the success measures for workforce programs? Measures of success included jobs created and jobs retained, tracking those who obtain better paying jobs or obtain raises, alignment with workforce programs with the needs of the industry, completion rate and stackable certifications. Aquaculture Workforce Training Systems Figure 5 provides a conceptual model of an aquaculture workforce development system. This model requires the identification of KSAs needed by employees for various positions. A systems approach could be organized around various aquaculture sectors such as finfish, shellfish and sea vegetables, and processing, where KSAs can be adapted for addressing the specific needs of each sector. Resources from existing state or regional training programs and partnerships invested in economic growth opportunities should be integrated in a systems approach for workforce development to be successful. KSAs identified as critical for successful entrance into and performance in each sector should be prioritized for each sectoral partnership. Selection of participants could also be prioritized as early-career individuals, women and ethnic minorities that have significant industry KSA gaps. The sectoral curriculum design should include significant experiential learning and be vetted with members of the industry in each sector to capitalizes on solving structural challenges to address specific workforce needs. Conclusions Effective examples of workforce development programs to support US aquaculture were shared during the workforce session at Aquaculture America 2023. An effective workforce program requires strong partnerships and it is unlikely that any single organization has the KSAs to teach everything an employee needs to be successful at their job. One of Extension’s strengths is its ability to facilitate by bringing together the right organizations and people who are qualified to serve as instructors in workforce development programs. Workforce development programs should address the workforce needs of employers while understanding the career goals of the employee. Using a KSA approach to workforce development will ensure that participants in workforce development programs learn new knowledge, but also acquire the matching skills and abilities that benefit the employer and employee. As the aquaculture industry expands, consideration should be given to developing workforce development systems based on an overarching needs-based curriculum that includes hands-on and practical experiences that can be implemented nationally, regionally or locally by teams of workforce development specialists. Notes Jamie Anderson is an owner of I.F. Anderson Farms, Jimmy Avery is with Mississippi State University, Imani Black is the founder and CEO of Minorities In Aquaculture, Christian Brayden works with the Maine Aquaculture Association and was the session co-chair, David Cerino works with Carteret Community College in NC, Michael Ciaramella works with New York Sea Grant, Azure Cygler works with Rhode Island Sea Grant, Carissa Maurin works with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, Bryan Snyder works with Carteret Community College in NC, LaDon Swann works with Sea Grant and was a session co-chair, M. Scarlett Tudor works with University of Maine Aquaculture Research Institute. References Gopal, N., M. Holly, H.M. Hapke, K. Kusakabe, S. Rajaratnam and M. Williams. 2020. Expanding the horizons for women in fisheries and aquaculture. Gender, Technology and Development 24:(1):1-9. Haralson, L.E. 2010. What is Workforce Development? Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Hatch, C.J., C. Burkhart-Kriesel and K. Sherin. 2018. Ramping up rural workforce development: An extension-centered model. The Journal of Extension 56(2):2FEA1. National Sea Grant College Program Act. 1966. Public Law 89–688, Approved Oct. 15, 1966. Seiler, G. 2023. Fish and Seafood Aquaculture in the US: Market Research Report. IBISWorld. Sempier, S., R. Grice, T. Sempier, S. Deal and L. Swann. 2022. Oyster Farming Resilience Index: An Oyster Farm Self-Assessment. MASGP-22-059. Sherin, K.M. and C. Burkhart-Kriesel. 2018. Cooperative Extension’s Past and Present Investment in Workforce Development. Smith-Lever Act. 1914. Chapter 79 of the 63rd Congress; Approved on May 8, 1914; 38. Stat. 372, 7 U.S.C. 341 et seq. Thier, J. 2023. The skills gap is so big that nearly half of workers will need to retrain this decade. These 10 skills are most in demand. Fortune. May 1, 2023. US Industry (NAICS) Report 11251 / Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting: Fish & Seafood Aquaculture in the US. Whitt, C. and J.E. Todd. 2021. 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