HAVERHILL – Whittier Regional Technical High School announced it has received a $ 181,778 state Skills Capital Grant to expand its day and evening offerings, with the goal of creating a new Marine Service Technology career pathway for high school students.
Whittier has offered Marine Service Technology through its Adult Evening Education Program since last year, supported by Yamaha and the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association. The program has trained three classes of unemployed or underemployed workers for entry-level jobs in a high-demand field, school officials said.
Whittier Superintendent Maureen Lynch said the new skills grant will allow her school to purchase a Parker brand boat, a Yamaha brand Wave Runner, a Sea-Doo GTR for student learning, a Yamaha outboards for student training, and a new system to properly ventilate engine fumes.
Whittier Tech has applied to the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for approval to create the Marine Service Technology pathway in the day program, Lynch said, adding that if approved, Marine Service Technology will be offered as an exploratory class for incoming ninth graders in the 2022-2023 school year.
Marine Service Technology would be Whitter Tech’s 23rd pathway, among the most offered by any career technical school in the state, Lynch said.
“By expanding our pathways, students will have a greater opportunity to discover their passion and pursue a career in a high-demand, well-paying field,” said Vocational Director Amanda Crosby.
The National Marine Manufacturers Association estimates that the marine industry in Massachusetts employs more than 20,000 workers and has an economic impact of $ 4.4 billion. However, the industry is facing a shortage of workers in the state and nationally, school officials said.
Marine Service Technology night courses will continue this fall using CTI (Career Technical Initiative) grant funding. Training will be available at no cost to individuals who qualify as underemployed or unemployed, Lynch said.
“The Baker-Polito Administration has been incredibly supportive of career technical education, and the Whittier Tech community has benefited as a result,” Lynch said. “The night program in Marine Service Technology has been very successful and we are excited at the opportunity to expand it to even more students.”
Skills Capital Grants are awarded to educational institutions that showcase partnerships with local businesses and whose curriculum and credentials seek to meet the demand of growing industries in the state.
Through its Skills Capital Grants, the Baker-Polito Administration has worked to increase the number of students enrolled in programs where they can learn and train for occupations in high-demand careers. More than 300 educational programs have received financial support from the Skills Capital Grant initiative, which has awarded approximately $ 92 million and is overseen by Baker’s Workforce Skills Cabinet.
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