HAVERHILL — Superintendent Maureen Lynch is pleased to announce the graduation of 12 students from Whittier Tech’s first marine technology adult education program.
On Monday, July 19, 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.
“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. I would like to congratulate all of the students for completing this rigorous course,” said Superintendent Lynch. “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 (MMTA) 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 MMTA Executive Director Randall M. Lyons. “We’re pleased to have had the opportunity to work with Whittier on this initiative, which puts all who participated on a path toward a meaningful career in marine technology.”
Additionally, the Baker-Polito Administration recently allocated $150,000 in funding from the 2022 state budget toward workforce development and career technical education initiatives in the recreational boating industry. This funding will continue to support the MMTA as the organization works to address workforce challenges.
According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the recreational boating industry in Massachusetts has an economic impact of $4.4 billion dollars and employs more than 20,000 men and women in Massachusetts. However, there is a substantial workforce shortage in the industry, both in Massachusetts and nationwide.
“We hope to continue this program in the future and we are so thrilled that additional state funding was secured to support these initiatives,” Superintendent Lynch said. “I would like to thank the state legislators who made this initiative a priority and worked to ensure it was supported.”
The funds were introduced through budget amendments sponsored in the Massachusetts House of Representatives by Rep. William Straus and in the Senate by Sen. Patrick O’Connor, as well as Rep. Susan Gifford and Senator Joseph Boncore, the four Co-Chairs of the 60-plus member Legislative Boating Caucus.
Whittier Tech would also like to thank Sen. Diana DiZoglio and Rep. James Kelcourse for their support.
“Recreational boating has a substantial economic impact on the Commonwealth, employing more than 20,000 individuals. The industry, however, is seeing a significant workforce shortage, with many well-paying job and career opportunities available, but not enough trained individuals to fill the positions,” said Sen. DiZoglio. “These funds secured through the state budget will go a long way in supporting local and statewide efforts to bolster workforce development and career technical education initiatives in this industry, such as the marine technology program at Whittier Tech that is giving students the skills they need to enter this workforce. I was honored to co-sponsor this amendment alongside my colleagues.”
“Congratulations to the first class of Whittier Tech’s marine technology adult program. What a promising career path,” said Rep. Kelcourse. “Having spent a good portion of my life in the marine industry, I hope the graduates will enjoy this line of work as much as I did. Thank you to the Baker-Polito Administration for supporting workforce development and career technical education initiatives in the recreational boating industry.”
Whitter Tech plans to offer a similar program in the fall for unemployed and underemployed people looking to begin a career in marine technology.
For the latest updates, visit Whittier Tech’s website here.