A new marine technology program provides new career opportunities for high school students who want to work with local companies and marinas to repair boats.

At the Beaufort-Jasper Academy for Career Excellence, nine Beaufort County students are in the initial class of a marine technology program.

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According to ACE director Dr. Michael Lovecchio, there is a lot of interest in marine technology among Beaufort and Jasper middle school students.  He was also told by Chris Butler with Butler Marine in Beaufort that there is a need for qualified marine technicians locally.

“We are proud of it. It’s pretty cool for kids to go through this brand new program,” Lovecchio said. “Members of the community said that boating was very popular here and that when folks needed their boats repaired, some would wait for weeks to have them repaired.”

Yamaha has donated four engine blocks to ACE to get the program started.

“This class is unique in that it is hands-on and it allows the students to see the boat motors working in water and allows students to better understand what to look for when repairing a motor,” Lovecchio said. “They are able to hear the motor and understand the problems firsthand.”

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