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ABYC and MTA work towards apprenticeship program

The American Boat and Yacht Council hosted eight marine industry employers Feb. 1 to discuss the creation of a marine industry apprenticeship program in Maryland.

ABYC met with two representatives from Anne Arundel Community College and the workforce development team from the Marine Trades Association of Maryland.

“ABYC’s marine service technology program was created to address the industry’s need for post-secondary technical education for aspiring marine professionals,” said ABYC education vice president Ed Sherman in a statement. “This comprehensive curriculum gives students a jump start in their career path and is designed to be easily integrated with apprenticeship programs.”

The group has developed a wide-scoped, entry-level course to be used to equip a person to enter the recreational boating workforce.

The goal of the meeting was for a group of the Marine Trades Industry Partnership Employers to evaluate and give feedback about the curriculum developed by ABYC, said MTAM executive director Susan Zellers.

ABYC works with employers around the country to produce courses. With the buy-in from this group of employers, this curriculum can be used to fulfill the classroom time required of a Maryland marine apprenticeship program.

The course ends in a final exam, which was taken by some of the employers at the table who had not completed the course. Elliot Anderson of Hinckley Yacht Service was one of these employers.

“The marine industry has many disciplines and I thought the test gave a good overview of the different elements,” Anderson said. “There were a lot of technical things and a lot of electrical content. It was thorough, longer than I expected. Yes, I would love to employ someone with the skills taught in this course.”

There was general excitement around the table at the prospect of offering such a course at local high schools and community colleges.

“I can train the technical aspects of the job,” said Ryan McQueeny of Marine Technical Services. “I really look for someone who has a general knowledge of boats. Even if someone is an electronics whiz, some sort of baseline of basic boat knowledge would be super helpful.” 

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