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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Gov. Bev Perdue released a budget plan today that preserves public teaching jobs. But she still found ways to cut back on education.

Perdue wants eight specialized programs from community colleges throughout the state eliminated. Included in that list is the Marine Technology program at Cape Fear Community College.

The program has been a part of CFCC for more than 40 years. It provides hands-on experience for students preparing for work as technicians in the marine scientific community.

The marine tech program currently includes 140 students, which is its maximum capacity. Several more students are on the waiting list.

Pete Simpson is a CFCC graduate and one of the school’s marine tech instructors. He said losing this program would not only be detrimental to Cape Fear, but also to the marine science community.

“Our graduates are not only nationwide, they are global. They are employed all over the world,” Simpson said. “A lot of the companies they work for are international companies. We seek Cape Fear graduates everywhere.”

Simpson said all marine tech students spend a minimum of 30 days at sea aboard CFCC’s research vessels. He said that gives them a huge advantage over other candidates when looking for a job after graduation.

If cut the marine technology program would help reduce the state’s budget of $2.4 billion by less than $700,000.

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