Ticonderoga Good help is hard to find, especially if you operate a marina.
“There just aren’t enough marine technicians to fill all the jobs we have available,” explained Roger Phinney, executive director of the Eastern New York Marine Trades Association. “We have jobs. We want to hire people. We just can’t find them.”
That’s why Phinney’s group and marina owners from the region are supporting the new Marine Academy being established at Ticonderoga High School in its newly-constructed, state-of-the-art technology center.
Slated to open next September, the Marine Academy will be operated by Champlain Valley Tech and be available to students from Glens Halls to Plattsburgh. A two-year program, it will be limited to 13 students — and marina owners can’t wait until the first class graduates.
“We’ll be fighting for them,” Rich Stolen, owner of Schroon Lake Marina and Loon Lake Marina, said. “Those 13 kids will have no problem finding work.”
The program was outlined during a presentation to school officials and students from Lake George, Bolton, Whitehall, Moriah, Crown Point and Ticonderoga Nov. 18. Also attending were representatives of FR Smith and Sons Marina in Bolton, Schroon Lake Marina, Loon Lake Marina, Yankee Boating Center in Diamond Point, Performance Marine in Bolton, EZ Marine and Storage in Brant Lake and Snug Harbor Marina in Ticonderoga.
Bob Palandrani, owner of Snug Harbor Marina in Ticonderoga and a member of the Ti school board, has been instrumental in the development of the Marine Academy. He stressed the program is about much more than mechanics.
“We’re talking about mechanics, fiber glass, painting, welding, woodworking, computers, sales, marketing, everything,” he said. “If a student’s not interested in becoming a mechanic that’s fine, there are a lot of other job opportunities.”
Many of those jobs, he pointed out, are year-round, full-time opportunities.
John McDonald, Ticonderoga school superintendent, said the marine program makes sense for his school.