A dozen students were the first to graduate from the first marine technology adult education program at Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School.
Whittier Tech Superintendent Maureen Lynch said a dozen students completed the course and passed the Yamaha Certificate test, earning an Introduction to Outboard Systems certificate. By completing the program, students are now ready to pursue an entry-level career in the marine industry. Lynch congratulated them for completing the “rigorous course.”
“This is the first time that Whitter Tech has held an evening marine technology program and we had a fantastic group of students and a great instructor,” Lynch, adding, “ I am confident that they have all developed the crucial skills needed to enter into the workforce.”
Students participated in 80 hours of class instruction. The program focused on theory and skill development, but students also had the chance to do hands-on work on various outboard engines.
The Massachusetts Marine Trades Association donated $400 toward each student’s tuition, with the help of state funding, offsetting the typical $900 course fee.
“Whittier Tech’s recent program is just one example of the many ways that state funding has been able to assist our educational partners and students,” said Association Executive Director Randall M. Lyons.
According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the recreational boating industry in Massachusetts has an economic impact of $4.4 billion and employs more than 20,000 men and women in Massachusetts. However, there is a substantial shortage of workers, both in Massachusetts and nationwide.
Whitter Tech plans to offer a similar program in the fall for unemployed and underemployed people looking to begin a career in marine technology.