Council focuses on marine trades work force

STEVE KITCHEN, recently elected chairman of the Marine Industry Technical Education Council, is also vice president for corporate training at the New England Institute of Technology in Warwick. /
STEVE KITCHEN, recently elected chairman of the Marine Industry Technical Education Council, is also vice president for corporate training at the New England Institute of Technology in Warwick. /

Steve Kitchin has been elected chairman of the Marine Industry Technical Education Council, a new entity developed nationally by 22 individuals dedicated to developing and sustaining a technically skilled work force for the marine industry. Kitchin is also vice president for corporate training at New England Institute of Technology.

PBN: What is MITEC?
KITCHIN: MITEC consists of 23 council members that include educators, private individuals and people from sectors within the marine industry. It was created to facilitate and sustain a proficient work force in marine manufacturing, marina service and repair work.

PBN: What do you aim to achieve as the new chairman?
KITCHIN: My number one goal is to support the MITEC mission in providing solutions to address the shortage of work force technicians, to serve the needs of the work force, and to ensure that MITEC is financially stable so it can support itself and provide value to the marine industry.

PBN: How does your work with MITEC fit with your role at NEIT?
KITCHIN: One effect will be to make sure the science program remains valuable for people who are hiring graduates. This is a result of spending time with fellow council members and educators and listening to conversations about what exactly employers are looking for. … It will also raise awareness of NEIT. People will come to know more about the college.

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PBN: Are marine-industry jobs increasing?
KITCHIN: Absolutely. Careers from the manufacturing stage to the sale of the vessel to the servicing after the sale. MITEC is intended to act as an education resource to young people in helping them decide whether a career in the marine industry is something they’d want to do. In a shifting economy, it’s also an opportunity for individuals outside of the marine industry to consider a career change. And for those already in the marine industry, we want to make sure those workers remain proficient and allow them the opportunity to move up the ladder.