HAVERHILL – Superintendent Maureen Lynch is pleased to announce that Whittier Tech has launched a new Marine Technology pathway, the school’s 23rd career pathway.
The program was approved over the summer by the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Only three other vocational high schools in the state offer a Marine Technology program. They are located on the South Shore and on Cape Cod.
“We have a real need in the area for marine service between the North Shore, Merrimack Valley, seacoast and everything in-between,” Vocational Coordinator Paul Moskevitz said. “Our instructor, Mike Murray, has worked extremely hard to get the program running. This program brings even more opportunities to Whittier students.”
Students in the Class of 2026 will be the first to be able to pursue Whittier Tech’s new Marine Technology program. Currently, 306 ninth-graders are participating in Whittier Tech’s Exploratory Program and will select a trade pathway in January.
During the Marine Technology rotation, students are learning the parts of a boat, the concept of buoyancy, annual boat maintenance, performing water pump replacements, and more.
Argelis Vargas, a freshman from Haverhill, said, “I really like my experience in the Exploratory Program, so far, especially here in Marine Tech. It’s hands-on. I am not stuck in a classroom learning.”
Whittier Tech was awarded a $181,778 Skills Capital Grant to support the new program. With the funding, Whittier purchased a Parker-brand boat, Yamaha-brand WaveRunner, and a Sea-Doo GTR for student learning, Yamaha outboards for student training, and a new ventilation system for engine exhaust.
Students who choose to pursue the pathway will learn how to operate, maintain, repair, rebuild and install onboard systems, as well as hull maintenance and repair, marine canvas fabrication and repair, gas and diesel engine operation and repair, and
welding and precision metal fabrication.
They also will earn relevant certifications, learn how to operate a boat safely, and obtain their boating license. Students will have the opportunity to earn their captain’s license during their senior year.
Whittier Tech has offered Marine Service Technology through its Adult Evening Education Program since summer 2021 with support from the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association and donations from Yamaha.
The program has trained three classes of unemployed or underemployed workers for entry-level jobs in this high-demand field. All graduates left the program having passed the Yamaha Certificate test and earning an Introduction to Outboard Systems certificate.
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. However, there is a substantial workforce shortage in the industry, both in Massachusetts and nationwide.
“The marine industry has ample opportunities. We hope to connect students to these many well-paying jobs and career opportunities available through our new program,” Superintendent Lynch said. “Expanding this program to daytime students was a collaborative effort by faculty, community partners, and so many more. We thank everyone who made the introduction of this new pathway possible.”