FORT LAUDERDALE - Broward College took time last week at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show to tout its acclaimed marine engineering management program and ask for industry support of the two-year course that provides students with needed skills and an associate’s degree.
The program, which opened its doors in 2008 with 20 students, now hosts more than 50 students in three sessions. Jorge Guerra, dean of the transportation programs, explained that they could bring more students into the program if they had more classroom space.
Longtime patron of the school Joe Charles, of Charles Industries, used the occasion to announce he will donate more classroom space and encouraged others in the industry to support the program.
There’s a shortage of good marine technicians, Charles said, noting problems he’s had finding qualified technicians to work on his boat.
“That’s why I’m involved. …We need programs like this,” he said, adding that the school needs money and marine equipment to work on.
Broward College is one of seven schools nationally that are part of the Marine League of Schools, added Skip Burdon, president of the American Boat & Yacht Council. Schools in the group are dedicated to turning out qualified, ABYC-certified technicians.
“What we get for the industry are safe boats, so people have a great, safe boating experience,” he said. “Broward is a leader. Broward produces the most graduates of the Marine League right now. They are taking the lead.”
— Beth Rosenberg