Skagit Valley College President’s Reception open to the public

Submitted by the Orcas Rotary

A special Skagit Valley College President’s Reception will be held at the Eastsound Fire Station on Friday, March 10, from 4–5:30 p.m. The event is open to the public.

Hosted by the Orcas Rotary (a satellite of the San Juan Island Rotary Club) Skagit Valley College San Juan Center and the SVC Foundation, the event will provide an opportunity for community members to learn more about how the college serves the educational needs of the residents of the San Juans and how partnerships strengthen the community and lead to student success. The program will include remarks by SVC President Dr. Tom Keegan, Vice President of SVC’s Whidbey Island Campus and Centers Dr. Laura Cailloux, and Randy Martin, director of the San Juan Center. Additionally, SJC faculty member Dr. Jill Johnson will share information about upcoming class highlights for spring quarter.

Many individuals in our community have a deep connection with, and appreciation for, the marine trades. Within the local community, the late Richard Hughes, of Eastsound, felt that connection. Hughes’ support for SVC’s Marine Technology Program will live on, with his bequest to establish a new SVC scholarship to support future students in the Marine Technology program.

With a focus on excellence in access, achievement and community, SVC aligns its Workforce Education programs with regional and state economic development strategies. By maintaining strong connections with community leaders and key partnerships with business and industry, SVC provides training that responds to employer needs.

From aircraft to boats to wind turbines, Washington’s rapidly growing manufacturing, maritime, and aerospace industries are creating jobs that require skilled technicians. To meet that need, SVC’s Marine Technology Program at the Marine Technology Center in Anacortes provides students with skills employers need in the recreational boat, ship repair, and maintenance industries.

SVC’s program prepares students for marine trades employment in three key areas: Marine Propulsion, Marine Vessel Systems, and Marine Composites. Coursework includes a comprehensive blend of classroom study, hands-on experience, and certification preparation.

The program began in 1968 and opened its doors in Anacortes at the Marine Technology Center in 2010. Since its opening, approximately 140 students have enrolled in the program and has grown to more than 20 graduates each year.

The program blends classroom study with hands-on learning experience. Courses are taught by a faculty team of industry experts.

The employment outlook for the marine trades is strong, with 100 percent job placement. It’s a high demand field for program graduates for three key reasons:

The recreational side of the industry has bounced back since the recession.

The commercial side of the industry remains strong.

The program continues to grow and responds to the needs of both employers and students. The program will expand capacity to serve 32 students per year. And two new courses, Rigging and Hydraulics, will be added to the curriculum. As a result, the college is working to raise $50 thousand $75,000 for additional equipment, training aids and tools. For more information on the marine program, visit