Marine trade school planned for Massachusetts

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During the recent New England Boat Show, members and guests of the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association were presented with plans for an "ocean school" in Scituate, Mass.

The Marine and Environmental Education Alliance, composed of supporters overseeing the development of the Ocean Center Campus for Marine and Environmental Studies, described its vision for the future growth of the Massachusetts marine trades.

The education alliance also made its case to U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., receiving a commitment to support the project's goals, according to the MMTA.

"At last - a school that will prepare technicians for jobs and careers in all facets of marine and ocean technologies," said Ed Lofgren of 3A Marine, chairman of MMTA education committee and a member of the alliance, in a statement.

"The Ocean Campus Center is the culmination of years of effort by MMTA, its educational affiliate, [the Massachusetts Marine Trades Educational Trust], Massasoit Community College, concerned citizens of Scituate, the South Shore and throughout Massachusetts, as well as the South Coastal Workforce Board and the 'Jobs in Boating' state grant secured several years ago," he added. "This is nothing less than 'the future' and an educational 'wow.' "

The 30,000-square-foot facility has the capacity to serve as many as 1,500 students a week. The environmental alliance will partner with Massasoit Community College, a college that has been training students in marine tech trades for the past 13 years, to help create the curriculum and run the facility.

"Marine technicians are in demand, but training opportunities are few and far between. It is little wonder that enrollment at vocational-technical schools is up and that President Obama's recent visit to Massachusetts began at Boston Technical," MMTA president Jack Kent III, of Bayside Marine, said in a statement.

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