CALAIS, ME – Washington County Community College (WCCC) announces new aquaculture courses developed in partnership with the Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center, Sunrise County Economic Council, and various industry representatives that are part of a larger scale Associate of Science degree and a Certificate program in Aquaculture Technology currently under approval review. The program and course development is funded through a USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture AFRI Agricultural Workforce Training at Community Colleges Grant.
Three new courses will be offered during the Spring 2023 semester including Intro to Aquaculture, Intro to Water Quality and Chemistry in Aquaculture, and Exploring Aquaculture Careers. The free, hybrid courses will utilize various industry partner locations spanning the entire Maine coast for the hands-on, experiential components. The courses are funded for students through the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan and the Harold Alfond Center for the Advancement of Maine’s Workforce.
“Washington County Community College is excited to be collaborating with many aquaculture subject matter experts and workforce development agencies to develop aquaculture specific programming within our region,” said Susan Mingo, President of WCCC. “The collective expertise of this group of collaborators strengthens the curricula and student learning outcomes and experiences to ensure a highly trained and qualified workforce to fill the current and future workforce needs that exist within this in-demand, high-wage industry,” she continued.
One of the key industry partners in this program is Kingfish Maine, a land-based Yellowtail farm, which has been fully permitted to be built in Jonesport. “We are honored to work with Washington County Community College to introduce the ever-expanding industry of aquaculture to students of Maine and help build the aquaculture workforce of tomorrow,” said Kingfish Maine Operations Manager Megan Sorby.
“Aquaculture projects statewide have tremendous potential to expand career opportunities for Maine residents. With our collaborative partners at WCCC and the Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center, we will provide students with an up-close look at aquaculture technology and an opportunity to learn marketable skills for the many job opportunities developing in our state.” said the Maine Aquaculture Association.
More information on the courses can be found here: https://www.wccc.me.edu/professional-development/aquaculture/