Weeks Marine Inc., Cranford, N.J., has made a major contribution totaling $500,000 to support Northshore Technical Community College, Lacombe, La., and its maritime training program and scholarship fund.
Company chairman Richard “Dick” Weeks visited the campus July 18 to check out construction of the college’s second building on the Lacombe campus. A longtime support of higher education and workforce training, Weeks announced a personal contribution of $250,000 to support local maritime training and acquire state of the art training equipment for students.
Also there was the senior management team from Weeks Marine, including CEO Richard S. Weeks, president Eric Ellefsen, and executive vice president Patrick Whelan, who announced a corporate match of $250,000 to establish a scholarship endowment in perpetuity to support students seeking maritime-related career fields.
“Northshore Technical Community College is humbled by the generosity of Mr. Weeks and Weeks Marine for making this investment in our community and students,” said NTCC Chancellor William Wainwright.
This is the second donation Weeks Marine has made as a business partner to Northshore Technical Community College, for a total investment of $750,000 since 2016.
“Having a state-of-the-art maritime simulation laboratory will allow NTCC to expand its program offerings and provide high-tech, relevant training experiences for the entire Northshore region,” said Randy Savoie, the college’s lead maritime instructor. “NTCC and Weeks Marine have strategically formed a partnership to advance maritime education in Louisiana in efforts to sustain long-term economic benefits, creating direct employment opportunities to fulfill the increasing maritime workforce gap.”
An earlier contribution by Dick Weeks enabled the college to create unique advanced outdoor classrooms utilized by K-12, postsecondary, and workforce educators, and established the first Richard Weeks Two-Year Workforce Scholarship Endowment.
Since 2015, Weeks Marine has served on the NTCC Maritime Consortium, guiding and building the maritime program curricula to ensure that graduating students are well equipped to meet the needs of the maritime industry. In addition to curricula counsel, programmatic support, and the hiring of graduates, Weeks Marine engages with NTCC students throughout the year by hosting career prep “lunch and learns” and by creating student internship opportunities.
“Actively engaged partners like Weeks Marine dynamically refocuses education programs from the theoretical to the practical, providing mentorship, hands-on training and applicable work experiences that are critical to student success” said chancellor Wainwright.