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At its regular meeting on Monday, October 5, the Sanford School Committee voted to add a two-year plumbing program to the offerings at the Sanford Regional Technical Center.

SRTC Director Kathy Sargent presented her proposal for the program, which would begin part-time in the fall of 2021 with a maximum of 16 students. The program offers a nationally-recognized educational training curriculum that provides students a pathway to becoming a licensed plumber through the state of Maine’s Journeyman’s License Exam and OSHA 10 certification.

The existing incubator space in the school’s STEM wing would be modified to accommodate the program. Outside the classroom, students in the program would complete the plumbing systems when the Building Trades program builds a house. The potential to allow students exposure to HVAC will also be explored.

Ms. Sargent said there are expected to be a lot of job openings in the area, with many local plumbers nearing retirement age. She believes once students learn what a lucrative career it is, the program will fill up.

The state will pay the bulk of the costs associated with the program.

School Committee members were unanimously enthusiastic in their support for the proposal. John Roux called the program “greatly needed and long overdue in southern Maine.” As he cast his vote, Jonathan Mapes quipped, “I can hear something dripping in my house now, so yes.”

Ms. Sargent also went over a list of other programs that SRTC might consider offering in the future. Space exists in the Culinary Arts wing for either a Baking & Pastry or Hospitality program. Commercial Driver’s License, Heavy Equipment Maintenance/Operation, Marine Studies, Marketing and Veterinary Technician are other possibilities.

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