Students awarded scholarships in marine technology

8:29 PM, Mar 15, 2014   |    comments
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PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- At the Boat Builders Show this weekend, high school students received $10,000 in scholarships to pursue education in marine technology.

Portland Yacht Services partnered with the Marine Technology Institute to put forward the Maine Marine Troubleshooting Competition, a third annual event.

Sixteen vocational students from Portland Arts & Technology High School, Region 10 Technical High School, Mid-Coast School of Technology, and Waldo County Technical Center competed in the contest.

Josh Saxton and Jake Russell scored the highest number of points in the history of the competition: 147 out of 160. They are both from Region 10 Technical High School and were each awarded $2,500 for coming in first place. Russell plans to use his $2,500 earnings toward the Marine Technology Institute, in which he's enrolled this fall.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, maintenance and repair workers rank among the top 30 occupations with the largest projected number of job openings due to growth and replacement needs.

Jason Curtis of Portland Yacht Services says as the boatyard plans to expand, it is facing a skills gap. There are workers nearing retirement age and those jobs will need qualified workers. The boatyard sponsers the contest to provide those students with incentives.

"We're building a brand new boat yard on the other side of Portland right now. With that will be a bigger capacity for us and the technicians will need to come along with it," he said. "We can only grow as fast as the technicians that are able to come with us."

Here are the final results from Saturday's competition:

1st Place REGION 10 Josh Saxton & Jake Russell

2nd Place MIDCOAST Alex Benner & Logan Joans

3rd Place PATHS John Cogswell and Nick Griswold

4th Place PATHS Cody Stewartt and Braiden Wellington

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