Manatee County may be the home of a new marine-related university, American Marine University, with a 200 acre campus along the Interstate 75 corridor. What better place for training in marine-related industries but our beautiful gulf-coast area? According to a Sarasota Herald article by Michael Pollick the project is underway and projected to have a first class of 250 – 500 students in 3-4 years. The university would be a non-profit four year school, with an employer-designed curriculum. In addition, the school might eventually offer easier to manage certificate programs focused on a path to employment. The board of directors are hoping for inclusion in the Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s Blue Economy innovation Challenge. Five finalist vying for a $25,000 grant will have 3 months to finalize their proposals and present their prototypes the first week of November.
Local Marine industry companies see the project as a logical means to an end providing interns and employees to their growing businesses. It’s all about creating jobs in the long run and the keeping the gulf-coast economy thriving.