College partners with Kingfish Maine in aquaculture courses
January 19, 2023 By Nestor Arellano
The State of Maine has a number of land-based aquaculture projects on the go in its backyard. Washington County Community College (WCCC) is offering courses aimed at developing a skilled local workforce to meet the expected influx of job brought the growing aquaculture activity in the state.
In a recent announcement, WCCC said that Kingfish Maine Inc., which going through its final approval stages for a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility in Jonesport, is among the colleges main partners in its program. The aquaculture company is a subsidiary of the Dutch yellowtail producer, The Kingfish Company.
“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.”
WCCC developed its new program 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. he 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.
Apart from Kingfish Maine, other companies with RAS projects in the state are: Whole Ocean which is building a facility in Bucksport; and Nordic Aquafarms, which plans to build a facility in Belfast.
More information on the courses can be found here: www.wccc.me.edu/professional-development/aquaculture/
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