In 2001 we added a contemporary aspect to the trainees’ skills as well as greater opportunities as a career for graduates in our water-based nation through our boatbuilding and fiberglass technology course. A curriculum for the program was developed by Dennis and Bill Hugulet. At the time, Bill was working at the College of the Marshall Islands. He and his wife are now teaching their way through some of the different exotic places of the world. A benchmarked curriculum was developed in 2007 and the program is now certified by the RMI National Training Council (NTC). This program has repaired and built dinghies, boats and other items made of fiberglass as well as a 24-foot combination sail-powered outboard-motor catamaran commissioned by Senator Maynard Alfred of Ailuk Atoll for purposes of hauling cargo, including payloads of copra, and passengers around the atoll.

With a modern fiberglass workshop, the program is poised to transfer key vocational skills to students who can then apply these in the workforce upon graduation. The facility presently has a full complement of a Trainer, an Assistant Trainer, and has the capability to accommodate 14 students every 6 months in the newly integrated Carpentry, Boatbuilding & Fiberglass Technology advanced course. Future plans are to design the second phase of the fiberglass shop which will double the size of the current training area, enabling us to double the number of trainees in that skill-set. The plan calls for achieving this project and securing the future of this program by forging strategic partnerships with other vocational training service providers in the discipline including Ministry of Education’s National Vocational Training institute (NVTI), the College of the Marshall Islands (CMI) as well a link to other schools in the U.S. The objective is to strengthen the delivery of this program to full capacity through the next 5-year period.