Marine educational program receives $100,000 in donations

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The Broward College Foundation has received two commitments totaling $100,000 designated for the Broward College Marine Engineering Management Program, it reported in a press conference at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show last week. Joe Charles, president of Charles Industries, Ltd., and the Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF) each committed $50,000.

“These donations by Mr. Charles and the Marine Industries Association reflect their deep commitment to the marine industry and a passion to develop future industry leaders,” said Nancy Botero, executive director of Broward College Foundation. “We are so appreciative of their support.”

These commitments are a response to the Broward College Foundation’s call for a public/private investment of $3 million from industry and individual philanthropic leaders to renovate the 30,000 square-foot Marine Technology facility, according to the college. The program was established to respond to the significant growth of Florida’s marine industry and the need for highly qualified employees in this sector. In addition to supporting the marine industry, the program will graduate students into a well-paying career, it stated.

Charles, who serves co-chair the fundraising efforts for the program, also was instrumental in bringing in $500,000 in equipment donations to the program. Approximately 27 equipment donors as well as additional cash donors were recognized at the boat show reception, including Dometic Corp., Environmental Division, which donated marine air conditioning equipment and tools.

“As good corporate citizens with our company headquarters and factory in Broward County, we have always taken a special interest in marine education within our community,” said Frank Marciano, president of the Domestic division. “We recognize the ongoing need for skilled technicians in the boating business, and Broward College’s outstanding marine engineering program is making an important contribution to bringing young people into our industry.”

Graduates of Broward College’s Marine Engineering Management Program, an accredited 24-month college program taught by marine industry professionals, receive an associate degree in marine technology and an American Boat and Yacht Council marine technician certification.

Broward College is collaborating with a number of community organizations to identify and recruit students for its marine program, including MIASF, American Boat & Yacht Council, The Boys and Girls Clubs, McFatter Technical Center, Workforce One, the Broward County School Board and South Broward Senior High School. The Marine Tech Associate’s of Science Degree will encompass the ABYC curriculum to enable students to work on actual equipment and use materials that are found in most shipyards and marinas, according to the college.

Those seeking more information can call Diane Madio at the BCC Foundation at 954-201-7079.

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