MDCE 2017: MRAA Educational Foundation awards scholarships

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The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas’ Educational Foundation presented four scholarships on Sunday evening during the organization’s Opening Night Awards Celebration at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Fla.

Kayla Horrocks, office assistant at Idaho Water Sports in Burley and a full-time student at Boise State University, received the second annual MRAA Marine Industry College Scholarship. Horrocks is active in community service events and recently discovered water sports.

“It’s nice to see someone new to boating immerse themselves so fully into the boating lifestyle,” Jeff Siems, president of the foundation’s board, said in a statement. “We believe awarding Kayla this scholarship will further fuel her passion for the industry, and that passion will transfer to those around her.”

The scholarship is made possible by the foundation, Priority One Financial Services and the Boater Rewards Association. The $5,000 scholarship offers MRAA members, their employees and their dependents the chance to apply for financial assistance in the training and education of those working in or planning for a career in the marine industry.

The foundation handed out its Technical School Scholarship to Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Shell Lake. The scholarship was presented to instructor Todd Larson. To be considered for the funds, applicants must have graduated students who have entered the recreational marine industry within the past 12 months and show evidence of plans to offer marine technician training in the coming year.

Recipients are awarded as much as $3,000 to be distributed to students preparing for a career at a recreational marine dealership.

“What clearly sets this year’s Tech School Scholarship recipient apart from other applicants was that as a result of receiving the scholarship in past years, this school was able to graduate a number of marine technicians who have gone on to work in MRAA dealerships — including two in the last year alone,” said Siems in a statement.

Lastly, Marine Trade Association Technical Scholarships were awarded to the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association and the Connecticut Marine Trades Association. The former went to Randall Lyons, executive director of MMTA, and the latter was presented to Kathleen Burns, executive director of the CMTA.

The purpose of the Marine Trades Association Technical Scholarship is to offer financial assistance for the technical training of marine dealership personnel.

“The Massachusetts Marine Trades Association and its Educational Trust clearly share our dedication to helping the industry navigate the current workforce crisis through training and dedication,” Siems said in a statement.

“The MRAA Educational Foundation’s Technical Scholarship Selection Committee was impressed by the CMTA’s robust year-long scholarship program,” Siems said in a separate statement. “It gave us confidence in the association’s ability to put the scholarship funds immediately to work to strengthen the technical skills of the marine dealership workforce.”

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