Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School officially launched its new marine technology program this term, making it the school’s 23rd career path and the fourth such program to exist in Massachusetts.
The class of 2026 students are the first to be able to pursue marine technology. During an appearance this week on WHAV’s morning show, Superintendent Maureen Lynch said Whittier received approval from the state vocational training program for marine technology.
“We have boats here in the building, and we have Wave Runners. Our first-year students are currently taking the exploratory program. We hope they enroll in this at the end of this year to have it as their professional technical area while they are here at Whittier,” she said.
Currently, 306 ninth-graders are participating in Whittier Tech’s exploratory program, which requires them to choose a business pathway in January. Argelis Vargas, a freshman from Haverhill, said, “I really like my experience in the exploratory program so far, especially here at Marine Tech. It is convenient. I’m not stuck in a classroom to learn.
Students choosing marine technology must learn how to operate, repair, rebuild, and install shipboard systems, as well as hull maintenance and repair, marine canvas fabrication and repair, engine operation and repair. gasoline and diesel, welding and precision metal fabrication.
Additionally, students who complete the program earn relevant certifications, learn how to operate a boat safely, and earn their boating license. During their final year, students have the opportunity to obtain their captain’s certificate.
Superintendent Maureen Lynch spoke about the benefits of this new program, saying “the marine industry has many opportunities. We hope to connect students to these many high-paying jobs and career opportunities available through our new program. Expanding this program to day students was a collaborative effort between faculty, community partners and many others.
Whittier Tech has been offering Marine Service Technology as part of its adult nighttime education program since summer 2021 with support from the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association and donations from Yamaha. The program trained three categories of unemployed or underemployed workers for entry-level jobs and graduates passed the Yamaha Certificate Test and earned an Introductory Outboard Systems Certificate.
According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, Massachusetts’ boating industry has an economic impact of $4.4 billion and employs more than 20,000 people, although there is a significant labor shortage. works in Massachusetts and across the country.