DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. - Florida's nagging shortage of boat-building workers, especially fiber-glass laminators and finishers, should start easing soon with the launching of a program at Daytona Beach Community College. The $1 million Regional Marine Technology Training Center, complete with laminating and finishing booths, is expected to open this year and train around 100 students a year, the school said.
There is a significant need for entry-level employees in boat building and repairing with 79, or one in five, U.S. boat makers located in the state, the Florida Department of Commerce said. In Volusia County, which includes Daytona Beach, boat builders employ about 900 workers and the Commerce officials predict about 100 new jobs a year for skilled workers.
Area manufacturers have helped in developing the center's curriculum and are providing supplies, equipment and molds.