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Orange Coast College Expands Maritime Career Programs

Behind the racing, cruising and recreational aspects of sailing that dominate the pages of Latitude 38 lies a robust marine industry that is often in search of new recruits. Like ourselves, many who grew up sailing naturally migrated to making their pastime a profession. Recently we spoke to Brad Avery, the director of the Orange Coast College School of Sailing & Seamanship. Brad grew up sailing with his family in Newport Beach. He made sailing a career when he started teaching at age 15.

“There is a lot of interest in providing technical training and career paths outside of the traditional four-year college,” Avery noted. “Additionally, the marine industry has grown and is in need of everything from engine mechanics to deckhands to yacht captains.”

Brad relayed that those interested in launching careers in sailing and the maritime trades will now have additional opportunities. OCC has begun construction of new facilities across the Pacific Coast Highway from its Newport Beach waterfront location. This will add classroom and lab space to their growing Professional Mariners Program, which offers an associate’s degree or certificate in the marine trades. “These added facilities will allow us to expand the number of students, teachers, and programs offered by OCC.”

Orange Coast College Summer Sailstice
It’s not all child’s play. This shot of an OCC Summer Sailstice open house is just the tip of the iceberg. The school offers a full spectrum of programs, from youth community sailing lessons to adult sailing to powerboating, and many other marine educational opportunities in Newport Beach.
© 2019 Mette Segerblom

The new building is scheduled to open in fall 2021. It will allow the school to grow from its current approximately 50 students to 100. This will be good news for the West Coast sailing industry. The Latitude 38 Classy Classifieds Job Opportunities section fills up with positions for sailing instructors, riggers, yacht brokers, boatyard workers, captains and more. The expansion of Orange Coast College’s facilities will help many more people make a profession doing something they love.

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