NEW YORK — Students from local technical and marine schools visited the Progressive New York International Boat Show on Wednesday to learn about potential marine careers as the industry clamors for workers.
A panel of speakers — National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich, Regulator president Joan Maxwell, Strong’s Marine owner Jeff Strong, and Yamaha service leader Joe Maniscalco — gave perspectives from parts of the industry followed by about a half hour of Q&A.
“When I look at the boating industry, I see an entire ecosystem that we all need to be successful for the industry to be successful, and who all offer very different opportunities in the marine industry,” said Dammrich.
Maniscalco painted a picture of his path from technician to the head of all of Yamaha Marine’s U.S. service operations.
“There were times I couldn’t believe I got paid to do my job,” said Maniscalco. “Thirty-plus years ago I was in your position. I was in HS, looking for a job, I wanted to pursue my passion for being a technician. All I needed was that opportunity to get into a dealership and have someone help me grow.”
With apprenticeships in every area of the business, Strong said his dealership could be a place that helps students or young technicians grow.
“We have technicians at all different skill levels, you don’t need to feel intimidated,” said Strong.
Technical skills are important, but skills like integrity, teamwork, and the ability to communicate with others are ranked higher, said Strong.
Davere Hanson with the New York Harbor School envisioned his path clearly.
“Manufacturing boats is definitely something I want to do,” said Hanson. “I want to go to Maritime College next in Maine or the Great Lakes, and then I want to join the NYPD Harbor Unit. Then I want to start my own company.”