ABYC curriculum boosts marine tech careers

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If you’re like many in industry, you know the American Boat & Yacht Council exists, but that’s about it. Well, it’s time to pause and realize there are many good things ABYC has been bringing to all levels of our industry since 1954.

But very specifically today we must give the ABYC a shout-out for not only beating the drum to increase interest and knowledge of the technical career opportunities in our industry, but also taking action by announcing the introduction of its new Marine Service Technology Program for secondary schools.

The goal of this much-needed initiative is clear: to help secondary schools implement a standards-based curriculum with an inland or coastal focus. The curriculum package includes a textbook, instructor guides, PowerPoint presentations, sample test questions and online videos.

“We’ve launched the only standards-based curriculum program in the marine industry to meet the needs of high school teachers,” said Ed Sherman, the ABYC’s vice president of education. “Furthermore, by partnering with the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute we can offer a nationally recognized series of exams that will provide successful students with an industry-recognized, entry-level credential.”

ABYC’s goal, Sherman added, is to make it easy to implement an engaging marine service training program that will drive interest and help young people pursue rewarding careers in the marine industry.

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Participating schools will gain access to:

  • ABYC’s secondary textbook, Fundamentals of Marine Service Technology
  • PowerPoint presentations and digital instructor guides for each chapter in the textbook
  • Online demonstration videos that can be accessed by the teacher or student
  • Access to its vast online catalog of full-color still images that instructors can use in creating their own presentations and course content materials
  • Test and quiz question banks with several hundred sample questions
  • Digital accomplishment badges for students
  • Option for NOCTI certification exams.

As you read this today, ABYC’s staff is manning a booth at the Association for Career & Technical Education’s conference, “Career Tech Vision 2017,” in Nashville, Tenn. It’s the first time the marine industry has been represented at this event. They’re educating school administrators and guidance counselors about career paths in the industry and promoting ABYC’s built-out curriculum package.

I doubt there’s anyone at the retail or manufacturing level reading this blog who isn’t aware, and may already be experiencing, our industry’s growing shortage of techs. And the problem will only get worse unless programs such as this one from the ABYC get traction in schools across the country.

So, I call out every dealer, individually or through its local marine trade association, to get directly involved in bringing the ABYC program to its local school district. With this new program from the ABYC you now lead them to a complete program for students. You can persuade your local educators to act for their students.

Here’s an encouragement: I’ll bet many of today’s dealership principals began your career employed in some dealership handling “the tools.” Going forward, if we don’t succeed in expanding education and the good career opportunities that await young people now, get ready to pick up the tools again to keep your dealership’s service obligations afloat. Enough said?

To learn more about the ABYC’s program and commit to approach your local educators, go here.

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